NEWS

Kouvelis: Samaras wanted early elections; backed down due to to EU pressure

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was prepared to call early elections but was forced to back down due to pressure from Greece’s European Union partners, according to Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis.

The comments made by Kouvelis on Antenna TV on Wednesday referred to the Greek premier’s decision to close down state broadcaster ERT, despite fierce opposition voiced by his then coalition partners, socialist PASOK and Democratic Left.

The ERT issue, said Kouvelis, was the “final straw” in the fragile tripartite collaboration, although his party did everything in its power “to find common political ground.”

Kouvelis also criticized the position adopted by PASOK and the party’s chief Evangelos Venizelos by saying that he believed a deal between Samaras and Venizelos had been brokered prior to the three party leaders’ final meeting on the ERT issue which eventually led to Democratic Left’s exit and a governemnt reshuffle.