Elec­tion pre­am­ble comes to end

Tsipras says he will not ask to be PM if SYRIZA has to co­op­er­ate with main­stream par­ties to form coali­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los is to­day ex­pected to be­gin the process for Greece to hold its sec­ond set of snap elec­tions this year.

At 1 p.m. Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis, the leader of Pop­u­lar Unity, is due to hand back the ex­ploratory man­date he re­ceived to the pres­i­dent. This will then set a chain of events in mo­tion that will lead to a care­taker gov­ern­ment be­ing in­stalled and the date for elec­tions be­ing set.

It re­mains likely that Pavlopou­los will not at­tempt to con­vene a meet­ing of party lead­ers to ex­plore whether it is pos­si­ble to form a gov­ern­ment from the cur­rent Par­lia­ment. Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and his coali­tion part­ner, De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos, have in­di­cated that they are not in­ter­ested in tak­ing part in such talks.

“We have to move to­ward elec­tions on Septem­ber 20 quickly so the gov­ern­ment can con­tinue its work, so we can move to­ward to­mor­row with sta­bil­ity,” said Kam­menos in a brief state­ment.

Pavlopou­los’s ap­par­ent re­luc­tance to call the lead­ers’ meet­ing has frus­trated the op­po­si­tion par­ties, par­tic­u­larly New Democ­racy. How­ever, for­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venize­los, a con­sti­tu­tional ex­pert, sug­gested that the pres­i­dent would be act­ing within the rules by call­ing each leader in­di­vid­u­ally rather than bring­ing them to­gether for a meet­ing.

Tsipras told Al­pha TV in an in­ter­view yesterday that he will not ask to be prime min­is­ter if SYRIZA wins the vote but has to form a gov­ern­ment with New Democ­racy, To Po­tami or PA­SOK. Tsipras did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of SYRIZA be­ing part of such a coali­tion, though.

He also praised the cur­rent fi­nance min­is­ter for help­ing se­cure an agree­ment with lenders on Greece’s third bailout. “Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos has done a marvelous job and it’s true that if he wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have achieved a deal,” he said.

In con­trast, Tsipras was crit­i­cal of Tsakalo­tos’s pre­de­ces­sor as fi­nance min­is­ter, Yanis Varoufakis. Tsipras re­called one ses­sion of par­tic­u­larly tough ne­go­ti­a­tions in June with In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund chief Chris­tine La­garde, Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank head Mario Draghi and Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker.

“Varoufakis was talk­ing but no­body paid any at­ten­tion to him. They had switched off, they didn’t lis­ten to what he was say­ing,” said Tsipras.

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