NEWS

Tsipras to brief Parliament on negotiations

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to address Parliament at 6 p.m. on Friday with the aim of briefing MPs on the course of negotiations with Greece’s lenders.

His speech will find SYRIZA in a state of anxiety after the details of the proposals made by lenders were made public, underlining that the leftist party will have to cross many of the “red lines” it had drawn.

Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis admitted that the measures the previous government was asked to adopt were “much less painful.” Labor Minister Panos Skourletis said the government would not accept a deal that “adds new burdens without changing the memorandum regime.”

Alternate Social Security Minister Dimitris Stratoulis said that the package of measures is not acceptable to the coalition. He suggested that the government could seek a fresh mandate. SYRIZA’s parliamentary spokesman also suggested that elections could be an option for Tsipras to consider.

Tsipras’s address will be followed by a debate between party leaders, which promises to be a fiery affair. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras launched an attack on the prime minister on Thursday, accusing him of “deceit” and of being offered terms by lenders that were much more onerous than the ones his government was poised to sign up to if snap elections had not been triggered by the failure to elect a president in December.

Samaras pitted himself firmly against the idea of snap elections, saying such proposals by SYRIZA officials were “nonsense.”