SYRIZA rules out unilateral action, wants deal by July

SYRIZA’s economic policy chief sought to soothe concerns on Friday, vowing that the leftist party has no plans to take unilateral action should it form a government after next Sunday’s election, adding however that it would have until July to hammer out a deal with creditors before serious liquidity problems arise.

“We don’t want to create problems or engage in unilateral action, but we shall not govern with a gun at our heads,” Yiannis Dragasakis said, adding that Greece’s conservative-led coalition and the troika were working together to narrow SYRIZA’s bargaining leverage.

“Certain forces need to understand that we have a democracy and the people, with their vote, have every right to decide on a change of policy,” Dragasakis said.

Referring to debt talks between a SYRIZA government and the troika, the leftist official said they would take some time, but they would need to be concluded by July, when Greece must repay 6.7 billion euros to the European Central Bank.

Dragasakis also sought to play down concerns following reports on Friday that two systemic Greek lenders had applied to tap the national central bank’s emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) a year after ending their reliance on it. The banks, he said, were only using a credit mechanism available by the eurozone system.

Meanwhile, SYRIZA candidate Rachil Makri on Friday stood by comments made on television late Wednesday during which she claimed that Greece would print up to 100 billion euros to address the liquidity crisis.

The claim by the former Independent Greeks MP drew a strong rebuke from PASOK and New Democracy officials. Some SYRIZA officials distanced themselves from the comments.