Greek government mulling May general elections


With pressure mounting for snap polls after the summer, the government appears intent on holding general elections, along with local and European ones, in May next year as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants time to reduce the gap between ruling SYRIZA and New Democracy.

Moreover, given that Panos Kammenos, the leader of the junior coalition party has threatened to ask for elections when the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia goes to Parliament – between January and March – the government is already busy examining different scenarios that will keep it in office at least until May.

With this in mind, Tsipras will seek to make the most of the country’s primary surplus to implement a series of countermeasures to ease the burden of austerity and proceed with tax cuts for the middle classes. He is expected to make announcements on the countermeasures at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September.

However, aides to the PM say SYRIZA can only expect political gains next year, when “citizens see money going into their pockets.”

In addition, Tsipras would reportedly like to hold elections after the Macedonia name deal is ratified so as to avoid it becoming a campaign issue, which could have a political cost for SYRIZA.