NEWS

Tsipras to meet key advisers before making decision on snap elections

tsipras-to-meet-key-advisers-before-making-decision-on-snap-elections

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to meet with top advisers at 2 p.m. on Thursday to discuss when to hold early elections.

It is expected that the government will announce its intentions at some point after the meeting.

Tsipras is listening to advice from government colleagues who are recommending that the polls should be held within September as well as those advocating that the snap elections should not be called before early October.

Kathimerini understands that one set of advisers is urging the prime minister to move swiftly and call a ballot for September 20 or 27 at the latest so the government can overcome the internal rift that has opened up within SYRIZA.

The other group has advised Tsipras not to consider elections before October 11 so the government has a chance to implement its new bailout agreement with lenders, build trust with them and perhaps clear the adjustment program’s first review.

Energy Minister Panos Skourletis, a close Tsipras adviser, said he thinks the government must move quickly to resolve the rift within SYRIZA over the third bailout.

"The political landscape must clear up. We need to know whether the government has or does not have a majority," he told state TV channel ERT.

Tsipras got the bailout through parliament only with the support of opposition parties, who said they did so merely to save the nation from financial ruin.

The prime minister has talked about calling a SYRIZA congress to resolve differences with the rebels. But, expressing his personal opinion, Skourletis said Tsipras should move faster. "I would say elections first, then the party congress," he said.