Syriza de­ci­sion to part­ner with ANEL angers S&D

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s the first time that Pit­tella has taken such a hard line against Tsipras, con­sid­er­ing that dur­ing the tough ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Athens and its in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors, the S&D group was quite sup­port­ive of Tsipras.

“We con­sider Tsipras’ de­ci­sion to form a gov­ern­ment with the right-wing party ANEL a strate­gic mis­take which could badly af­fect the path of re­forms in Greece,” Pit­tella said.

Sim­i­lar con­cerns were also ex­pressed by the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Martin Schulz. Speak­ing to France In­ter ra­dio, Schulz said he could not un­der­stand Tsipras’ de­ci­sion to re­new his coali­tion with the In­de­pen­dent Greeks.

“I called him [Tsipras] a sec­ond time to ask him why he was con­tin­u­ing a coali­tion with this strange, far-right party,” Schulz said.

“He pretty much didn’t an­swer. He is very clever, es­pe­cially by tele­phone. He told me things that seemed con­vinc­ing, but which ul­ti­mately, in my eyes, are a lit­tle bizarre.”

Pit­tella con­tin­ued, say­ing that the best op­tion for the good of Greek peo­ple “would be a coali­tion gov­ern­ment es­tab­lished with all pro­gres­sive forces, namely To Po­tami and Pa­sok”.

“Such a gov­ern­ment would be the best guar­an­tee for sta­bil­ity and for a re­spon­si­ble im­ple­men­ta­tion of the mem­o­ran­dum, with­out set­ting aside the so­cial di­men­sion, which is para­mount for the pop­u­la­tion most at need.”

Po­tami scored 4% of the vote, down from the 6% in the gen­eral elec­tions in Jan­uary, while the Pan-Hel­lenic So­cial­ist Move­ment (Pa­sok) in­creased its share of the vote from 4.7% in Jan­uary to 6.3%.

Sev­eral Syriza law­mak­ers have a so­cial­ist back­ground, and pub­licly sup­port a cen­treleft shift.

The of­fi­cial S&D party mem­bers Greece are Pa­sok, as well as Po­tami.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with EurAc­tiv Greece, ex-Syriza health min­is­ter Pana­gi­o­tis Kouroumplis stressed that a pro­gres­sive pole was needed in Greek pol­i­tics.

“Syriza should be the cen­tre of a wider pro­gres­sive party that will emerge as a coun­ter­weight to right-wing, and ne­olib­eral poli­cies”.

Asked if the S&D would be ready to “em­brace” Syriza, Pit­tella did not rule it out.

“I don’t know whether Tsipras fore­sees this fi­nal goal. Should it be the case, we will ver­ify the po­lit­i­cal op­por­tu­nity of this choice along with our com­rades of Pa­sok and To Po­tami, al­ready of­fi­cial mem­bers of the S&D Group,” he said.

Sur­pris­ingly, dur­ing the run-up to the Greek elec­tions, S&D did not openly sup­port Pa­sok and Po­tami.

On the con­trary, in a press re­lease pub­lished af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the elec­tions re­sults, S&D em­pha­sised the need for a “pro­gres­sive gov­ern­ment with all the pro­gres­sive forces”, which would in­clude Syriza, Pa­sok and Po­tami.

Pit­tella con­tin­ued, say­ing that the S&D group openly com­mit­ted in the tough ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, to help “not Syriza or Tsipras, but the Greek peo­ple, to find the best so­lu­tion that would pre­vent Greece from aban­don­ing the eu­ro­zone”.


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