Tsipras mulls options
PM to speak to economic team before decision on confidence vote, snap elections
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.