PM looks to consensus for political stability

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appealed for political consensus so that Parliament can elect a president early next year and avert the risk of snap general elections in an article in Sunday’s Kathimerini.

Echoing elements of his speech at the 40th anniversary of conservative New Democracy on Saturday, Samaras emphasized the need for political stability to be preserved if Greece’s exit from the memorandum is to be completed. “Greece is moving forward. There is no backward,” Samaras wrote. “Nobody wants it, nobody can take it. And we will not allow it,” he said.

In a reference to looming presidential elections, with the term of incumbent Karolos Papoulias set to expire in February, Samaras said Parliament must agree on a successor to avert snap elections. “The country must elect a new president through the Parliament and accelerate the return to growth,” said Samaras, whose coalition has 154 of the 300 seats in Parliament, far short of the 180 necessary to approve its presidential candidate.

In a clear overture to other political parties, and independent lawmakers, Samaras indicated that he was open to dialogue. “Cooperation? Yes. Understanding? Of course. With whom? With everyone!” In an apparent dig at leftist SYRIZA, he also condemned those who want the country to “commit suicide.”

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