Monday September 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Tsipras picks up baton after Samaras fails to form unity government

The leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, is to get a shot at forming a coalition government from Tuesday after an attempt by Antonis Samaras, the leader of conservative of New Democracy which came first in the general elections, failed to bear fruit.

Tsipras is to meet President Karolos Papoulias at 2 p.m. to receive his mandate to form a government. He will then approach other parties - formations “primarily” to the left of the political spectrum, he indicated yesterday - in a bid to form a left-led coalition. Party sources told Kathimerini that Tsipras’s key goal is to win round the Communist Party (KKE) and Democratic Left, a moderate, pro-Europe grouping. If this fails - which is likely as KKE has already ruled out any cooperations - Tsipras will reach out to other parties, the same sources said. He is also expected to meet with the heads of smaller leftist parties that didn’t make it into Parliament in a bid to bolster SYRIZA ahead of a possible second round of elections.

Samaras effectively passed the baton to the 38-year-old leftist on Monday when he declared that his efforts to form a government had failed. “We did everything we could, but it just wasn’t possible,” Samaras said in a televised statement.

According to the Constitution, the leader of the first party in general elections gets three days to form a government before the mandate passes to the runner-up and then the third party. ND sources said that Samaras returned the mandate after just a few hours as he had not wanted to waste time at such a critical moment for the nation.

In his televised speech, Samaras said ND had been the first party to call for a renegotiation of Greece’s debt deal with creditors. “We’re glad others have understood the importance of renegotiating the deal,” he said, in a clear dig at socialist PASOK, which adopted a more flexible stance on the agreement before elections.

Earlier in the day, following a meeting with Samaras, Tsipras ruled out the formation of a national unity government with ND, reiterating that the election results showed people rejecting the politics of austerity. “We will do all we can to reach an agreement with primarily left-wing parties,” he said.

His appeal elicited a cautious response from Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis. “We will wait to hear a precise and clear proposal and then we will comment,” Kouvelis said after rejecting participation in a conservative-led government following talks with Samaras. Kouvelis said his party had not shifted from its pre-election position - to ensure Greece remains in the eurozone and renegotiate its debt deal.

Sunday’s election results saw support move from PASOK and ND to three anti-bailout parties: SYRIZA, the Independent Greeks and Chrsi Avgi (Golden Dawn). ND garnered 18.85 percent, which was 14.6 percent less than what it gained in the October 2009 elections.

SYRIZA came second with 16.78 percent, up 12.2 percent from its 2009 result. PASOK suffered a humiliating defeat, losing 30.7 percent from its support two-and-a-half years ago to gather just 13.18 percent on Sunday. Taking part in their first election, the nationalist Independent Greeks received 10.6 percent, while the Communist Party made only a 0.9 percent gain on its 2009 result to gather 8.48 percent.

The neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi increased its support by 6.7 percent to gain 6.9 percent in Sunday’s ballot. Democratic Left, also making its electoral debut, won 6.11 percent of the vote.

The reinforced proportionality that applies in Greek elections meant that the first party received an extra 50 seats, up from 40 in 2009. However, this did not prove a deciding factor as New Democracy (108 seats) and PASOK (41 seats) did not have a large enough representation in the 300-seat Parliament to form a majority government. SYRIZA gained 52 seats, Independent Greeks 33, KKE 26, Chrysi Avgi 21, and Democratic Left 19.

New Democracy’s best showing was in Messenia in the Peloponnese, where Samaras hails from. The conservatives won 33.6 percent of the vote there. PASOK’s most impressive showing was in Rhodope, northeastern Greece, where the Socialists won 26.71 percent. However, it was a disastrous night for the center-left party, which saw a number of its most prominent officials, such as former Development Minister Anna Diamantopoulou and ex-Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis, fail to win seats in Parliament. In fact, of the 37 members of the cabinet formed when PASOK came to power in 2009, only six were elected on Sunday. One of those was Venizelos and ex-Premier George Papandreou was another.

Most PASOK officials remained tight-lipped about the party’s future after Sunday’s shattering result. However, party veteran and former Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos, who did not stand in these elections, suggested that PASOK may have come to the end of its political life.

“It no longer exists as a serious political force, not just because of the election result,” said Pangalos, who was also critical of the behavior of some of his colleagues. “This might trigger the discussion about whether it is necessary for this type of party to exist.”

ekathimerini.com , Monday May 7, 2012 (22:58)  
Education minister calls for probe into predecessor´s reform plan
Sanitary landfill for Ilia in Peloponnese given green light
Deputy Education Minister quits for ‘personal reasons´
Two injured after being shot at christening
September off to slow start in Greek bourse
September started with marginal losses at the Greek bourse and the fourth-lowest daily turnover this year as investors continued to stay away due to the lack of a clear fiscal landscape ahea...
Deadline looms for Cyprus vote on key bill
International lenders will withhold the next payment in Cyprus’s 10-billion-euro bailout unless the island’s Parliament passes a crucial law this week speeding up foreclosures of nonperformi...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Fulham striker Mitroglou set to re-join Olympiakos
Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus are set to re-sign Kostas Mitroglou on loan from English second tier club Fulham after the striker arrived in Athens for talks on Sunday. An Olympiakos spo...
SOCCER
Tough draw for Greek sides in Europa League group stage
Following Thursday night’s high, when all three Greek teams competing in the Europa League made it into the group stage of the competition, a harsh reality struck Friday as they found out wh...
Inside Sports
ANALYSIS
EU’s three big problems all linked
The outgoing president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said at the weekend that his successor, Donald Tusk, currently Poland’s prime minister, faces three big challenges: the sta...
COMMENTARY
A great president
I fully understand the country’s need for political stability, a necessity which makes the election of a president by the current Parliament absolutely imperative. At the same time, however,...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Education minister calls for probe into predecessor´s reform plan
2. September off to slow start in Greek bourse
3. Sanitary landfill for Ilia in Peloponnese given green light
4. Deputy Education Minister quits for ‘personal reasons´
5. Two injured after being shot at christening
6. Two policemen injured in Exarchia attack
more news
Today
This Week
1. Excavation work at Amphipolis reveals section of marble mosaic floor
2. A great president
3. Erdogan visits Turkish-occupied Cyprus
4. Don’t feed the zombies
5. Greek economy shrinks at slowest pace since late 2008
6. Greek officials meet to fine tune strategy for Paris talks with troika
Today
This Week
1. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
2. The battle against progress
3. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
4. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.