Tsipras talks ‘not likely’

ND and SYRIZA play down pos­si­bil­ity of PM and op­po­si­tion chief meet­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment and main op­po­si­tion party yes­ter­day played down the pos­si­bil­ity of a meet­ing be­tween Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras amid the strained ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Greece and the troika.

Kathimerini re­vealed yes­ter­day that the idea of Sa­ma­ras and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venizelos call­ing in Tsipras to in­form him of the dif­fi­cul­ties Greece is fac­ing in its deal­ings with the troika had been dis­cussed. Re­act­ing to the re­port, New Democ­racy and SYRIZA sug­gested such a meet­ing would be dif­fi­cult as a re­sult of the other side’s stance.

“For there to be a min­i­mum un­der­stand­ing, one has to go into talks with­out terms,” said gov­ern­ment spokes­woman Sofia Voul­tepsi.

“There is no point in dis­cussing any­thing with peo­ple who want di­vi­sion,” said New Democ­racy sec­re­tary An­dreas Pa­pamimikos.

In a weekly press brief­ing, SYRIZA spokesman Panos Sk­ourletis also ex­pressed doubt about whether such talks could ma­te­ri­al­ize, although he did not dis­miss the pos­si­bil­ity al­to­gether.

“There is no scope for mean­ing­ful un­der­stand­ing on the is­sues of debt and ex­it­ing the cri­sis,” said Sk­ourletis. “If the prime min­is­ter feels the need to in­vite Mr Tsipras to talks, we will ex­am­ine the re­quest. How­ever, the pres­ence of Mr Venizelos would be un­nec­es­sary.”

The PA­SOK leader’s im­me­di­ate fo­cus is on dif­fer­ent meet­ings as he is due to hold talks to­day with his pre­de­ces­sor George Pa­pan­dreou. To­mor­row he will be meet­ing ex-Prime Min­is­ter Costas Simitis. The meet­ings were ar­ranged after Venizelos placed calls to both men on Tues­day night. Re­la­tions be­tween Venizelos and Pa­pan­dreou have been fraught over the last few months and to­day’s meet­ing is seen as an at­tempt to re­store some har­mony within PA­SOK. The talks with Simitis have a sim­i­lar goal.

Sa­ma­ras met with To Po­tami leader Stavros Theodor­akis yes­ter­day. Theodor­akis said he would like Par­lia­ment to elect a new pres­i­dent in Fe­bru­ary but for par­ties to agree on na­tional elec­tions be­ing held in Novem­ber next year.

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