New Democracy has ruled out the possibility of supporting new measures in Parliament if the government goes in search of a qualified majority to satisfy lenders’ demands.
The conservatives have made it clear that if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeals for further measures to be supported by at least 180 out of 300 parliamentarians, it will not vote for the legislation. The main opposition party is also firm in its belief that Tsipras should call snap elections if he thinks he cannot get the necessary support for the reforms the institutions want.
“Mr Tsipras is pretending to negotiate when, in reality, he has agreed to 3.5 percent primary surpluses for many years after 2018, when the program ends, and he has accepted the tough austerity measures that these targets demand,” New Democracy spokesman Vassilis Kikilias said on Tuesday.
The conservative official pointed out that the government had said it would conclude the second review quickly but then caused complications in its dealings with the creditors by pledging a Christmas bonus to pensioners.
Responding to a question about speculation that Tsipras might choose to hold a referendum to overcome the impasse with the institutions, Kikilias said that New Democracy is treating the rumor as a “hoax.”
Preparations are already under way at the conservative party’s headquarters for Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on February 13, when the New Democracy leader will present his proposal for getting Greece out of the crisis.
Sources say that Mitsotakis will focus on front-loaded structural reforms that can help build trust and create fiscal space.