Greece’s centre-right Government is said to be “leaking support” to populist parties over its intentions to pass new legislation promoting LGBTQ rights.
The bill, which aims to grant marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples, has upset much of the ruling New Democracy (ND) party’s core voters.
Recent polls have suggested most Greeks do not support the legislation, with up to four in five voters saying they are against efforts to open up adoption to gay couples.
The proposed law has also brought ND into conflict with the politically powerful Church of Greece, further worsening public perception of the party.
“There is certainly a political gap growing on the right flank of ND,” local pollster Zacharias Zoupis told Brussels Signal, with data noting that many supporters are abandoning the party in favour of more right-wing options, such as Hellenic Solution.
“Many of the Government’s traditional voters are disappointed and currently up for grabs.”
Some representatives within the ND are also said to be mulling a rebellion, with some Government politicians having already “promised” to vote against the bill.
One key figure within this faction is former prime minister Antonis Samaras, with the senior ND politician justifying his resistance to the legislation by saying the “vast majority” of Greeks do not want it.
The Government itself, so far, remains undeterred by the resistance. ND spokesman Nikos Romanos has insisted that efforts to push the bill will continue.
“The Greek Government is doing what it believes is best for Greek society,” he told Brussels Signal.
“We do what we promised in order to establish equality and human rights for everyone and, especially, for all children.”
Amid resistance from within the party, the proposal still looks set to pass with the support of the country’s left-wing opposition.
Some have speculated that the Government’s efforts to push the bill through are in response to international pressure, with Western European politicians such as French President Emmanuel Macron rumoured to be keen on seeing the legislation passed.
Others have suggested that Greece’s current Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis may be keen to pass the unpopular bill in the hope of bettering his personal standing within the European Union. Many speculate he has his eye on landing the job of European Council president following the European Parliament elections in June.
A resolution recently adopted by the European Parliament, condemning Greece regarding the rule of law and freedom of the media, will likely impede Mitsolakis’s European aspirations.