Amid confusion about poll timing, bills to go to House

Amid confusion about poll timing, bills to go to House

Although Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other government officials continue to insist publicly that general elections will take place in October, as scheduled, plans for a slew of bills targeting different social groups are to go to Parliament in the coming weeks, stoking speculation about snap polls. 

According to sources, the performance of leftist SYRIZA in European Parliament elections due in May will be pivotal for Tsipras’s decisions.

If the difference between SYRIZA and the main conservative opposition New Democracy does not exceed 5 percentage points and ND garners no more than 30 percent of the popular vote, Tsipras is expected to stick to holding elections in October, deeming that the leftists may have a chance to recoup some of their losses. 

If the difference between the two main parties is larger than 5 points, however, it is expected that Tsipras will seek to limit the damage to SYRIZA by holding elections earlier. One possible scenario involves snap polls in June. 

In any case, the government is planning to bring several pieces of legislation to Parliament in the coming weeks, and certainly before Greek Orthodox Easter on April 28.

The bills include changes to the higher education entrance system, reduced military service terms for children of large families and reforms to the penal code introducing more lenient treatment for a range of serious offenses.

Meanwhile the government is intending to hold a hard line in upcoming negotiations with members of the country’s international creditors on the issue of protection for the homes of overindebted borrowers, sources say.

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