PM seeks to nip dis­sent in bud

Tsipras in­sists deal with cred­i­tors will not go against party ide­ol­ogy and warns MPs not to op­pose it

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As signs of ide­o­log­i­cal rifts be­gin to emerge within the rul­ing party and the gov­ern­ment over the con­tents of a deal with the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras has warned that any op­po­si­tion will be viewed as as af­front to his lead­er­ship.

And in a bid to of­fer cover to SYRIZA law­mak­ers who are fear­ful of a back­lash from con­stituents over the con­ces­sions the coali­tion is ex­pected to make to con­clude the sec­ond re­view of the coun­try’s third bailout, Tsipras has been at the fore­front of an up­hill bat­tle to con­vince party pu­ri­tans that the deal will in­deed be com­pat­i­ble with SYRIZA’s left­ist ide­ol­ogy.

In this way, Tsipras is try­ing to nip any dis­sent in the bud be­fore it gets out of hand with fully fledged op­po­si­tion to the gov­ern­ment com­ing from within.

Mur­murs of dis­sent, which have be­come stronger in re­cent months, ap­peared again yes­ter­day, with In­te­rior Min­is­ter Panos Sk­ourletis telling the left-wing Efimerida ton Syn­tak­ton news­pa­per that the pro­posal by cred­i­tors for the sale of 40 per­cent of Public Power Cor­po­ra­tion’s lig­nite and hy­dro­elec­tric power plants moves “be­yond the con­tours of what has been agreed” be­tween Greece and its lenders and that the gov­ern­ment should op­pose plans to “can­ni­bal­ize PPC.”

Ac­cord­ing to a draft plan seen by Kathimerini, the sale will start from July and end in the first half of 2018. Sk­ourletis’s over­all stance with re­gard to PPC’s fate has re­ceived fer­vent back­ing in the past from the Group of 53 fac­tion – the self-de­clared guardians of party pu­rity – which strongly be­lieves that the cor­po­ra­tion must re­main state-run.

The is­sue is of ut­most im­por­tance to law- mak­ers from the north­ern re­gions of Kozani and Flo­rina, whose economies are strongly de­pen­dant on power pro­duc­tion, as they fear a back­lash from their con­stituents if the gov­ern­ment moves ahead with the sale.

With this in mind, En­ergy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis will meet deputies from the two re­gions to­day in an at­tempt to quell their con­cerns.

Mean­while, ac­cord­ing to sources close to the prime min­is­ter, the gov­ern­ment be­lieves that a staff -level agree­ment will be reached with cred­i­tors by April 7.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.