Lafaza­nis fol­lows own path, gov’t un­fazed

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The agree­ment for a third bailout with in­ter­na­tional lenders widened the split within SYRIZA yesterday as for­mer Energy Min­is­ter Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis in­di­cated he will lead an ef­fort to start an anti-mem­o­ran­dum move­ment, while the party’s youth wing called for Greece to leave the eu­ro­zone.

A state­ment signed by Lafaza­nis and 12 other SYRIZA mem­bers, but not MPs, called for the found­ing of a “uni­fy­ing move­ment that will ful­fill peo­ple’s de­sire for democ­racy and so­cial jus­tice.” The state­ment gave no specifics about the group’s plans, apart from mak­ing it clear they plan a na­tional cam­paign against the new loan agree­ment.

Gov­ern­ment sources re­sponded to Lafaza­nis’s move by sug­gest­ing it had been in the mak­ing for some time. “It for­mal­izes a de­ci­sion taken some time ago for him to fol­low a dif­fer­ent path than the gov­ern­ment and SYRIZA,” sources close to Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras said, adding that the party never ad­vo­cated the op­tion of leav­ing the euro and that the re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum last month, when al­most 62 per­cent of Greeks voted against the bailout terms on of­fer at the time, can­not be in­ter­preted as a man­date to re­turn to a na­tional cur­rency.

Lafaza­nis ap­peared san­guine about the im­pli­ca­tions of his state­ment, say­ing he doubted Tsipras would oust him and other MPs from the Left Plat­form fac­tion for op­pos­ing the bailout. “Is he go­ing to oust us from Par­lia­ment? Let him go ahead,” Lafaza­nis re­sponded to a jour­nal­ist’s ques­tion about what Tsipras might do.

SYRIZA’s youth wing also voiced its op­po­si­tion to the new bailout yesterday. It ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of mak­ing a “sud­den turn to­ward the ne­olib­eral strat­egy of the mem­o­ran­dum” and adopt­ing poli­cies that run counter to the party’s pledges.

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