Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed the need for the coalition to reach a deal with Greece’s lenders in a televised interview, the first since his electoral defeat in January.
Speaking on Mega TV, the New Democracy leader argued that “the administration must clash with itself. The country is isolated. If the government does not pay, Grexit returns. There must be a deal.”
Samaras defended his decision to stay on as party leader by saying that although there had been complaints within New Democracy following the party’s election defeat, there had been no direct challenge to his leadership.
Samaras said that he feels he has been vindicated by the way events have unfolded since the elections.
“Every day I feel that the people are saying that the current government cannot solve the problems, while, on the contrary, with the previous administration we were on our way out of the tunnel,” he said, adding that if he were to give up the leadership now he would face the people’s “contempt.”
Samaras stressed, though, that he believes the country should not go to early elections.
On the subject of a possible release of Savvas Xeros based on a new prison law that would be see the convicted 17 November terrorist placed under house arrest, Samaras said that the government had “placed the interests of an assassin above the interests of the country.”