Tsipras tells Greek president general elections should be 'as soon as possible'

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras repeated on Monday his call for national elections “as soon as possible” after holding talks with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

Tsipras asked for the lunchtime meeting with Papoulias after seeing his part come first in the European Parliament elections on Sunday. With almost all the votes counted, SYRIZA had 26.6 percent of the vote, against 22.7 percent for New Democracy.

Coalition partner PASOK gained 8 percent as part of the centre-left Elia alliance, which the socialists led. Tsipras said that he told the Greek president that if these results were translated to parliamentary elections the coalition would have 94 MPs rather than the 152 it has today.

“This means there is a major disharmony between the public will and the representation in Parliament,” said Tsipras, adding that New Democracy and PASOK had seen their combined share of the vote fall by 11 percentage points since the June 2012 national elections.

“We should go to national elections as soon as possible, in an organised and calm manner to restore democratic normality,” said Tsipras.

The SYRIZA leader also stressed his party’s belief that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his government “does not have a mandate to take decision that commit the Greek people for years to come.” Tsipras referred in particular to the issue of debt relief. Negotiations on the issue between Greece and its eurozone partners are to begin after the summer.

Tsipras said he was “warning” Samaras that he should not adopt any more austerity measures, privatize public water companies and appoint a new Bank of Greece governor or the country’s next European commissioner without SYRIZA’s approval.

The results of Sunday’s vote mean SYRIZA will elect six MEPs, New Democracy five, Golden Dawn three, Elia, KKE and To Potami two and Independent Greeks one.