Tsipras hoping to persuade his ministers on deal

People close to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras remain confident that the vast majority of SYRIZA MPs will back any deal with lenders despite the objections that have been raised over the past few days regarding the content of negotiations.

Tsipras presided over two lengthy cabinet meetings last week, when a number of ministers raised concerns about the issues being discussed with the institutions, particularly labor and pension reforms. However, sources said that Tsipras believes he can ensure the necessary support for any agreement by convincing his ministers that it is the best deal his government can get.

His biggest concern is about how the leader of SYRIZA’s left-wing, Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis, will react. Lafazanis was said not to have been particularly vociferous in the meetings, stressing simply that the coalition should not cross its “red lines.” The prime minister believes that if he is able to talk Lafazanis around then it will lead to most, if not all, MPs belonging to the minister’s Left Platform voting for the deal.

However, if Tsipras sees that he cannot get the necessary support for a deal from his own party, he may consider putting the agreement to a referendum. The possibility of a vote has been played down over recent days by government officials but this does not mean Tsipras might not turn to it as a final option.

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