NEWS

Cross-party support appears unlikely

New Democracy made clear Tuesday its intention to reject the government?s attempt to get cross-party support for any debt deal agreed this week. The conservatives also said that any attempt to form a coalition would be tantamount to a ?parliamentary junta.?

Dimitris Stamatis, a close adviser to ND leader Antonis Samaras, rejected PASOK?s proposal for a qualified majority of 180 MPs to be required to approve the Brussels agreement as ?an attempt at escape by the [George] Papandreou government.? Were the prime minister to set this condition for the vote and fail to get the necessary support, he would be forced to call a snap election.

Stamatis also poured cold water on any possibility of cooperation between PASOK and New Democracy without general elections being held first. ?A coalition between the two parties at the moment would be a parliamentary junta,? he said.

The stance of the other opposition parties also suggests there is little chance of the deal receiving 180 votes. Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Democratic Left and Democratic Alliance welcomed the idea of a qualified majority but none indicated it would support the agreement. The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) called for elections.

A collection of authors, academics, economists and journalists including the head of the IOBE think-tank Yiannis Stournaras and graphic novelist Apostolos Doxiadis unveiled Tuesday a movement that backs the idea of a government that includes members from a broad range of non-partisan backgrounds.

The members of the Social Connection (Koinonikos Syndesmos) said they favor the creation of a Greek plan to improve public finances, an overhaul of the structure of the Greek economy, the creation of primary budget surpluses and the shrinking of the public sector.

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