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Greek government spokesman rules out early elections

Greek government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Tuesday said the coalition has "absolutely no intention" of calling early elections following calls for snap polls from opposition SYRIZA in the wake of the leftist party's electoral victory in Sunday's elections for local government and European Parliament.

Speaking on Skai TV on Tuesday morning, Kedikoglou said that he does not "foresee any obstacles that [the government] will not be able to overcome" in regard to draft laws and reforms that will be presented to Parliament over the course of the next few months, which could potentially threaten the coalition's narrow three-seat majority in the 300-member House.

He also accused SYRIZA of refusing to participate in negotiations between Athens and its international creditors for debt relief, even in the role of observer.

"It is obvious that they don't know much about how negotiations are conducted at the European level," Kedikoglou said. "They believe that negotiations take place in a dark room where you can bang your hand on the table and act tough."

Referring to the outcome of Sunday's elections for European Parliament - which saw SYRIZA garnering 26.5 percent of the vote, Samarass conservative New Democracy 22.7 percent and coalition partner PASOK 8 percent with its center-left alliance Elia - Kedikoglou said the government has "received the message clearly" from the ballot box, admitting that "society has reached its limits after two years of painful but necessary decisions."

The spokesman added that the government is considering a series of measures to lighten the burden on Greek taxpayers and to support vulnerable social groups.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday repeated his call for national elections as soon as possible after visiting President Karolos Papoulias.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 27, 2014 (10:04)  
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