NEWS

ND’s Meimarakis tries to put Tsipras on the spot

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A first day of discussions between New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis and other political figures on Friday will be followed by more deliberations today as the conservative politician insists that he can avert snap elections.

Meimarakis is due to meet on Saturday with PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata after holding talks yesterday with Potami chief Stavros Theodorakis. Meimarakis also meet President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Parliament Speaker Zoe Constantopoulou yesterday.

“Elections are a last resort and will not help the country,” said Meimarakis as he explained his decision to use the three days at his disposal to try to form a government from the current Parliament.

After his meeting with Pavlopoulos, Meimarakis suggested that he would even accept Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis as the leader of a unity government if it prevents elections being held in September. Dragasakis issued a statement soon afterward distancing himself from the proposal and suggesting that the conservative chief was trying to score political points by making the suggestion.

New Democracy sources said that one of Meimarakis’s goals during the three-day period he has the mandate is to highlight the fact that elections could have been avoided if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had tried.

In his public comments, Theodorakis focused more on the imminent elections rather than the possibility of preventing them. He insisted that Potami could be part of the next government. He said that his centrist party could express the “silent Greece.”

Gennimata, meanwhile, is making attempts to bring back to the PASOK fold figures who ran with George Papandreou’s social democratic party in the January elections.