NEWS

SYRIZA on tenterhooks ahead of deal

With Greece due to be presented with a proposal from its lenders, attention is gradually turning toward SYRIZA and how the party’s MPs and members will react to the content of the document put forward by the institutions.

Several key government officials insisted Tuesday that Athens would not accept an ultimatum from its creditors and that any proposal would have to be broadly in line with the party’s election pledges.

“If there is an agreement that does not represent an honest and forward-looking compromise, voters will have to be consulted before we sign it,” said Labor Minister Panos Skourletis.

“The popular mandate we have is clearly in favor of fair and sustainable growth within the euro while leaving behind the memorandum era,” said Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis.

“If 12 MPs do not vote for the agreement and the government is left with 150 seats, elections will be called immediately,” said SYRIZA’s parliamentary spokesman Nikos Filis.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis remained largely silent on the prospect of an agreement but behind closed doors he briefed SYRIZA MPs who sit on Parliament’s economic affairs committee. Varoufakis endured a difficult long weekend after 44 SYRIZA MPs signed a letter asking for the finance minister to cancel his decision to appoint economist Elena Panaritis as Greece’s representative at the International Monetary Fund.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras did not intervene in the matter, apparently supporting his minister’s decision. In the end, though, ex-PASOK MP Panaritis announced on Monday that she would not be accepting the post due to the opposition to her appointment.