NEWS

Opposition parties offer support to government

Two opposition parties in Greece are offering the beleaguered government help in bailout negotiations, as the country’s financial fate continued to unsettle world markets.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met Tuesday with the leaders of the centrist Potami and socialist PASOK parties, which have a combined bloc of 30 seats in parliament.

Elected on an anti-austerity platform in January, Tsipras is having trouble convincing dissenters in his coalition government to back a compromise deal with creditors that would likely see an extension of bailout taxes that he had repeatedly promised to abolish.

He was due to brief lawmakers from his SYRIZA party later Tuesday.

Tsipras blamed disagreement among creditors — which include the eurozone states and the International Monetary Fund — for the impasse.

“The difficulty is that we have many interlocutors,” he said. “The IMF has openly taken a position backing (bailout debt) restructuring, while the others insist on tough measures and have left out the restructuring issue.”

At his meetings Tuesday, Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis renewed a pledge to vote for any deal reached by the government and creditors.

Fofi Gennimata, the newly-elected leader of PASOK, said she urged Tsipras to form a cross-party team of bailout negotiators — a move that would help convince creditors that Greece was committed to long-term reforms.

[AP]