Greek PM confident of victory as snap polls planned for January 25

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday appeared confident of victory in upcoming snap polls, saying that he will ask Parliament to declare elections for January 25 after the coalition government failed to gather the 180 ballots it needed in the 300-seat House to elect its presidential candidate.

“Victory will be ours,” the prime minister said. “The people will not allow their sacrifices to go to waste.”

The two possible dates for snap elections were January 25 or February 1 but Samaras said that he would ask for polls to be held on the earlier date.

“The country has no time to lose,” Samaras said, adding that the “truth” about the government’s efforts to pull Greece out of five years of crisis will be revealed during the pre-election period.

“We did all we could to elect a president and avoid snap elections that the vast majority of Greeks don’t want,” he said in a brief address following the ballot in Parliament. “Unfortunately, a minority of 132 MPs, which included those from SYRIZA and Golden Dawn, are hauling Greece to snap elections.”

“It is time for democracy and responsibility, not lies, populism and political terrorism,” Samaras said.

The prime minister said he would meet President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday and asked for Parliament to be dissolved.