Democratic Left leader rejects bailout measures

The leader of the Democratic Left, which has risen rapidly in opinion polls over recent months, says he will not support the proposed EU-IMF loan agreement in Parliament and has called for elections to be held as soon as Greece settles its debt restructuring deal as well as the new loan package.

Speaking to Skai radio, Fotis Kouvelis said that the terms of the new bailout would heighten the recession and not address the issue of growth.

?I will assume the responsibility and vote against the loan memorandum when it is brought to Parliament,? he said.

Democratic Left, which has four MPs, polled at 18 percent in this week?s Public Issue poll, making it the second largest party. Kouvelis also has the highest approval ratings amongst Greece?s political leaders, with 56 percent of respondents having a positive view of the former justice minister.

Kouvelis said that Democratic Left would only enter a coalition government after the elections if there is some convergence with the other parties on the policies that need to be adopted to lift Greece out of recession.

Among his proposals are a five-year growth plan supported by structural funds and the European Investment Bank as well as investment bonds. He also suggested that a large part of Greek debt should be transferred to the European Central Bank, to allow Greece a longer time to repay it.