European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned Greeks against voting “extreme forces” into power while voicing his preference for “known faces,” according to reports.
“I think that the Greeks – who have a very difficult life – know very well what a wrong election result would mean for Greece and the eurozone,” Juncker told Austrian television, according to the EUobserver online newspaper.
“I wouldn’t like extreme forces to come to power,” he said ahead of presidential elections in Greece next week which could lead to a snap national vote.
Asked whether his comment was a reference to SYRIZA, the leftist anti-bailout opposition which is leading the polls in austerity-hit Greece, the Commission chief was quoted as saying: “I would like Greece to be ruled by people who have an eye and a heart for the many little people in Greece and who also understand the necessity of European processes.”
“Each party who stands for election has to live up to these standards and I won’t comment on the chances of one or the other party, but I would prefer if known faces show up,” Juncker said.
Conservative coalition leaders New Democracy have nominated Stavros Dimas, a former EU commissioner, for President. The government needs the support of at least 180 deputies to elect Dimas.