NEWS

Samaras rules out coalition with SYRIZA, sees elections in 2016

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday ruled out forming a governing coalition with leftist SYRIZA, adding that the power-sharing administration aims to complete its four-year term.

“SYRIZA is saying 'no' to everything. It is not harming the government only, but the country as well. There is absolutely no room for cooperation,” Samaras told his conservative MPs.

Led by Alexis Tsipras, the anti-bailout party is leading New Democracy conservatives in most recent opinion polls. Tsipras, a fierce critic of Greece's austerity policies has in the past suggested that the crisis-hit country would be better off defaulting on its international debts and devaluing its currency as Argentina did over a decade ago.

“Thirteen years after it went bankrupt, Argentina still has not recovered,” Samaras told his lawmakers. “SYRIZA wanted us to follow Argentina's example and now it does not want to be reminded of it,” he added while praising collaboration with PASOK, his party's one-time socialist nemesis.

“Much stood between us and PASOK for decades, but we were brought together by the shared aim of preventing Greece's euro exit,” he said.

“The country has suffered, and it is still suffering, but the worst has been avoided and we are now starting to come out of the crisis. Some seem to forget that we stopped the country from collapsing,” Samaras said. “With the help of God and with people's support we will achieve even more.”

The premier also rejected speculation of premature elections. “The aim is to hold elections in 2016. Some people are trying to connect the measures against unemployment with snap elections,” he said.

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