Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou on Tuesday sought to play down speculation that New Democracy would consider a coalition with the ultranationalist Greek Solution party if the ruling conservatives fail to form a government in next year’s general election.
“There’s a lot that separates us with the party of Mr. [Kyriakos] Velopoulos, both at the level of principles and of values. We are also far apart when it comes to the country’s position on major issues,” Oikonomou told Antenna TV, referring in particular to the smaller party’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the management of the pandemic.
“Our position is clear: A government that is cohesive and united by at least some common denominators that take us in the same direction,” he said.
“But our unchanged position is that, given the political situation abroad and inside Greece, the country needs a strong, one-party government. This is what we’re aiming for, and this is what we will tell the Greek people in all honesty,” he added.
Oikonomou’s was responding to speculation sparked by earlier comments made by Interior Minster Makis Voridis, who emigrated to New Democracy from the now defunct right-wing populist Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party.
Asked during an appearance on Antenna TV on Monday whether ND would be open to a coalition with Greek Solution, Voridis said: “I don’t rule anyone out. Barring parties with a wildly different policy program, we could work with any party.”