NEWS

Juncker warns against early elections in Greece

Jean-Claude Juncker, the nominee of the EU’s Christian Democratic parties for the top job at the European Commission, has said that a breakdown of Greece’s conservative-led coalition government would be a “highly dangerous” development.

During an interview in Brussels Wednesday, Juncker said Greece – which is seeking to emerge from a six-year recession and a 240 billion-euro ($328 billion) rescue – “is doing well” after the government posted a budget surplus excluding interest and one-time payments in 2013 and signs emerged of an economic turnaround, albeit “very modest.”

He said the country, which is holding both local and European Parliament elections on Sunday, needs to avoid early national elections. Both ballots are seen as a test for Greece’s power-sharing administration.

“What Greece doesn’t need would be a government crisis or a collapse of the government,” Juncker said. “That would be highly dangerous.”

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is the European Left’s candidate for European Commission president. [Bloomberg, Kathimerini]