Tuesday March 31, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
With time running out, Greece heads to new elections

Greece is heading for new elections, most probably on June 17, after party leaders failed on Tuesday to agree on the formation of a government despite efforts by President Karolos Papoulias to broker a last-ditch deal.

The collapse of the talks led to New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left accusing the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) of scuppering any agreement because it wanted new elections that might elevate the party from second position to first. SYRIZA, which more than tripled its share of the vote on May 6, said that it had to remain true to its opposition to the terms of the European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout.

It emerged that Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis put forward a proposal to break the deadlock during yesterday’s meeting at the Presidential Palace. SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras had argued that it was impossible for his party to form a government with PASOK and ND as their leaders, Evangelos Venizelos and Antonis Samaras, had given the EU and IMF written pledges to keep to the terms of the loan deal. Kouvelis suggested this could be overcome by Venizelos and Samaras giving fresh pledges to back the new government’s efforts to negotiate a gradual disengagement from the EU-IMF bailout.

However, the leaders did not back the idea proposed by Kouvelis, who last week suggested a unity government be formed to improve the bailout terms and keep Greece in the euro before calling elections in 2014. “I did everything I could: I explored every avenue, we went beyond every possibility,” said Kouvelis. “Unfortunately, our proposal was rejected because it appears that some political forces had opted to go to new elections so they could serve their party interests.”

Samaras also expressed frustration at no deal being agreed. “Certain people are intent on leading Greece into risky territory,” he said. Samaras accused the two parties opposed to the bailout, SYRIZA and Independent Greeks, of “unbelievable arrogance and incredible irresponsibly.”

New Democracy sources told Kathimerini that the new election campaign would see Samaras focus his attacks on Tsipras rather than Venizelos. The conservatives believe that they have to turn the campaign into one that revolves around staying in the euro or returning to the drachma. They will attempt to convince voters that SYRIZA’s economic policies would lead to Greece having to leave the eurozone. Samaras also referred to unity in his statement, which is seen as a reference to his effort to attract MPs who have quit the party over the past few months and years to return.

Venizelos also accused some parties of putting “momentary party interest above the national interest.” The PASOK leader now faces a challenge to overhaul his crumbling party in time for the next elections.

Tsipras set his eyes on first place in next month’s polls, which would give SYRIZA an extra 50 seats in Parliament. “We were only a few thousands votes short of first place on May 6 and this kept us from creating a left-wing government that would cancel the memorandum and would rebuild the country from the ruins which the parties that supported the memorandum have left behind,” he said.

The chief of the nationalist Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos, also attended the leaders’ meeting, but his suggestion that others support his party to form a government was rejected outright. Kammenos proposed that someone else from his party could lead such an administration.

The failure of the talks means that leaders will meet again today to rubber-stamp the appointment of a caretaker prime minister. The constitution decrees this should be the head of one of Greece’s three highest courts. The favorite to be given the job is Council of State president Panayiotis Pikramenos. He will then agree on a new cabinet with the help of Papoulias.

The MPs elected on May 6 will be sworn in tomorrow but Parliament will be dissolved on Monday or Tuesday so elections can be held on June 17.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 15, 2012 (23:23)  
Government to propose committee to examine Greece´s memorandums
Senior member of Merkel´s bloc resigns over Greek bailout
Greece, EU/IMF lenders end round of technical talks without deal
Hospital doctors give deadline for new hires, back pay
Russian firms to bid for Greek oil and gas drilling tender, says energy minister
Greece's energy minister said on Tuesday that major Russian firms will take part in a Greek tender for deep-sea oil and gas exploration, after the cash-strapped country extended the bidding ...
ANALYSIS
How Grexit bill could dig deep into ECB pockets
FRANKFURT - A Greek departure from the euro could expose the European Central Bank to losses on tens of billions of credit, a hole Germany and other euro members may have to fill. As politic...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Cyprus soccer eyes reunion after 60-year divorce
Turkish Cypriot soccer officials on Monday vowed to press ahead with attempts to reunite with the Cyprus Football Association, (CFA), triggering a political storm on the ethnically-split isl...
SOCCER
Three Greek internationals injured in Budapest car crash
Three Greek international soccer players were slightly injured on Monday in a car crash as they travelled by taxi to Budapest airport following Greece's Euro 2016 qualifying goalless draw ag...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
There are 149 plus two reasons why those who have been watching SYRIZA’s progress since its start cannot and never will be able to stomach the leftist party’s coalition with Independent Gree...
EDITORIAL
A pointless debate
Monday’s parliamentary debate between the country’s political leaders left a lot to be desired. There was no information whatsoever about the coalition government’s proposed reforms or the p...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Russian firms to bid for Greek oil and gas drilling tender, says energy minister
2. Government to propose committee to examine Greece´s memorandums
3. Senior member of Merkel´s bloc resigns over Greek bailout
4. How Grexit bill could dig deep into ECB pockets
5. Greece, EU/IMF lenders end round of technical talks without deal
6. Hospital doctors give deadline for new hires, back pay
more news
Today
This Week
1. Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
2. A pointless debate
3. Parliamentary speaker prompts ND walkout, anger from PASOK, Potami
4. Greek government proposes measures worth 3.7 bln
5. Investment guru Mark Mobius rules out Grexit, advises sell-offs
6. Shops to open Sunday ahead of Easter holidays
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
4. Some more equal than others
5. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
6. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.