Tsipras mulls op­tions

PM to speak to eco­nomic team be­fore de­ci­sion on con­fi­dence vote, snap elec­tions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras is due to meet with his eco­nomic pol­icy team to de­cide the ac­tions the gov­ern­ment must take in the com­ing weeks as part of its bailout com­mit­ments, which could de­ter the premier from mov­ing swiftly to trig­ger snap elec­tions.

Although last week it seemed cer­tain that Tsipras would quickly call a con­fi­dence vote, per­haps then lead­ing to another trip to polling cen­ters for Greek, the prime min­is­ter and his ad­vis­ers now seem to be hold­ing off on any sud­den moves.

Gov­ern­ment sources sug­gested yesterday that Tsipras first wants to dis­cuss with his eco­nomic team how the first tranche of Greece’s third bailout, which was passed through Par­lia­ment on Fri­day and then rub- ber-stamped by eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters, will be dis­bursed. Athens is due to re­ceive 26 bil­lion eu­ros of the to­tal 86 bil­lion as its first in­stall­ment but this will be bro­ken into sub­tranches, with 10 bil­lion go­ing to­ward re­cap­i­tal­iz­ing Greek banks.

The prime min­is­ter also wants to be briefed on what mea­sures the gov­ern­ment will have to adopt over the next few weeks in or­der to com­ply with the bailout terms and en­sure that there will be no com­pli­ca­tions when the lenders’ tech­ni­cal teams re­turn in Oc­to­ber to re­view the pro­gram’s im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“We can­not put at risk the smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment,” said a gov­ern­ment source who pre­ferred to re­main anony­mous.

A gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said that if Tsipras is ad­vised that bailout-re­lated leg­is­la­tion needs to be passed through Par­lia­ment im­me­di­ately, then the op­tion of early elec­tions in Septem­ber is likely to be re­jected. In­stead, the gov­ern­ment will seek to clear the first re­view and snap polls will be con­sid­ered for Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber.

In fact, Tsipras could ask for Par­lia­ment to hold re­duced sum­mer ses­sions dur­ing Au­gust for the draft laws to be ap­proved.

Ei­ther way, Tsipras is ex­pected to take his fi­nal de­ci­sion in the days im­me­di­ately af­ter Thurs­day, when Greece has to pay 3.2 bil­lion eu­ros to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank. The bond will be cov­ered by money that Athens is due to re­ceive from the new bailout.

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