NEWS

SYRIZA rules out political consensus before polls

Leftist SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Thursday categorically ruled out any kind of consensus with other political parties before elections.

“We are prepared at this historic moment to lead the national effort,” Tsipras told a session of the party’s political secretariat. “We will seek consensus after elections based on a different framework to the one being negotiated by the current government.”

Tsipras’s comments came as sources indicated that the leftists were buoyed by the coalition’s lackluster performance in the first round of presidential elections on Wednesday, indicating that the government is extremely unlikely to garner the additional 20 MPs it needs to approve its candidate, former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, on December 29. In a sign of how sure they are of elections, SYRIZA officials are planning to convene on December 30 to discuss candidate lists.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Reuters, Tsipras struck a conciliatory tone, saying SYRIZA would seek an agreement with the country’s international creditors if it comes to power. He added that he would not move “unilaterally” unless forced to.

As speculation about early elections intensified, Democratic Left MPs indicated that they would only vote for Dimas if there is a SYRIZA-backed proposal to postpone general elections.

Former conservative Premier Constantinos Mitsotakis meanwhile warned of the risks of snap polls, saying they could “lead the country into turmoil and result in us leaving the eurozone.” His statement was released after he met with Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, who said he told Mitsotakis political consensus could be sought “after elections.”