ND and SYRIZA step up dispute

A new row has broken out between New Democracy and SYRIZA after the conservatives accused the leftists of favoring Greece?s bankruptcy and exit from the eurozone.

In a sign that political tension is building up again after a brief summer lull, New Democracy seized on comments by SYRIZA MP Dimitris Stratoulis in which he suggested that Greece should stop repaying its debt and demand it be restructured.

?Based on United Nations regulations, international experience and what has been proved in other countries based on international law, Greece can get out of this miserable, catastrophic situation,? he told Flash Radio on Friday.

?The country can be declared to be in a state of fiscal emergency so it can choose between its people?s survival or continuing to pay its huge debt, which under no circumstances can be deemed sustainable.?

Stratoulis went on to repeat SYRIZA?s position that although the party favors Greece remaining in the euro, the well-being of Greeks must come above any concerns about remaining in the single currency.

?We have stated very clearly that the currency is not an obsession for us, for us the obsession is the survival of the Greek people and the country?s economic recovery,? he said.

The conservatives, who had attacked similar statements by SYRIZA MPs earlier in the week, seized on Stratoulis?s comments as a sign that the leftist party is not committed to keeping Greece in the euro.

?This is the third SYRIZA MP in 48 hours that is asking for the country?s bankruptcy and a return to the drachma,? said ND in a statement. ?There has been absolutely no reaction from Mr [Alexis] Tsipras. It is clear that the country?s bankruptcy and a return to the drachma is now the official position of SYRIZA.?

SYRIZA sources told Kathimerini that the leftist party expects there to be increased tension with the conservatives over the next few weeks. SYRIZA believes that it will be targeted by ND as part of a tactic to pave the way for new spending cuts.