NEWS

New Democracy airs idea for new coalition

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras suggested on Thursday that his party could play a part in the creation of a new coalition government if not enough SYRIZA and Independent Greeks MPs vote for an agreement with creditors.

Samaras was in Brussels for a meeting of leaders from the European People’s Party, the grouping of center-right parties in the European Parliament. From there, he suggested that should the government lose its parliamentary majority in a potential vote on the latest round of austerity measures, New Democracy would be willing to step in to assist SYRIZA.

Samaras’s proposal is that both New Democracy and SYRIZA should be part of any new administration but that he and current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should not be part of the government.

There was an immediate response from SYRIZA, which said it would not be part of an interim government, like the one led by ex-central banker Lucas Papademos in late 2011 until May 2012.

“As the government and the prime minister are fighting a tough battle, Mr Samaras is expressing his secret desires,” said the leftist party in a statement. “He is asking for a government led by a handpicked prime minister whose job it would be to sign and implement anything that the lenders ask for.”

Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis, who was also in Brussels, distanced himself from Samaras’s proposals.

“Alexis Tsipras has a fresh mandate from the Greek people and the spirit of revenge should not have any place in political life, especially at this crucial time,” he said.