Tsipras digs in his heels, aligns with Podemos

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras made a fresh call for early elections on Saturday, during a speech in Madrid at the founding conference of Podemos, Spain’s leftist, anti-austerity party which has surged in opinion polls.

Declaring that Greece is “on the brink of a historic change,” Tsipras said his party would not accept “any solution that does not have the backing of the Greek people” and which fails to address the issue of the country’s debt. The comments appeared to be a snub to overtures from coalition politicians for a possible cooperation. Tsipras also reiterated that his party does not accept the “cuts and austerity that are fueling overindebtedness.”

The fact that both SYRIZA and Podemos are leading in the opinion polls shows there is hope for “achieving what was until yesterday impossible, to change the course of Europe,” Tsipras said.

SYRIZA has vowed to block the coalition’s candidate in presidential elections next February in a bid to force snap polls. But the leftists remain divided on many issues. On Saturday veteran leftist and MEP Manolis Glezos said it was possible the coalition might get the 180-seat super-majority in Parliament and approve its presidential candidate. Glezos said many MPs, particularly in the coalition, want to avoid snap polls as their re-election is far from certain.

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