DIMAR chief calls for party consensus on debt talks at meeting with president

Fotis Kouvelis, the chief of Democratic Left, a small party that bowed out the coalition government last year over a row concerning the closure of state broadcaster ERT, met with Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday, becoming the third party leader to meet with the outgoing president after visits on Monday by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and SYRIZA opposition leader Alexis Tsipras.

During the meeting at the Presidential Palace, Kouvelis urged Papoulias, whose term ends in March, to call a meeting of party leaders so they can reach a consensus on negotiations with foreign creditors for a lightening of Greece’s debt load.

The Democratic Left chief reportedly told the president that while disagreement between rival parties is part of the order of business in a democracy, there needs to be broad consensus on major issue affecting national interests.

“I am glad to hear about consensus between the parties despite their difference,” Papoulias said.

Leaving the meeting, Kouvelis told reporters that all the parties belonging to the “democratic arc” must form a common front in debt restructuring negotiations, otherwise “the adverse affects… will be strongly felt and at the expense of Greek society.”

Kouvelis added that he believes general elections will take place in March as the government will be unable to gather the super-majority it needs in Parliament to back its candidate for Papoulias’s successor.

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