ATHENS – The leader of the opposition party Potami, Stavros Theodorakis, urged the SYRIZA-led government on Friday to resolve the internal strife facing the main coalition party and to push for a national consensus ahead of the next round of negotiations with Greece’s lenders.
Speaking at an off-the agenda parliamentary debate that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested to brief political parties on the ongoing talks with Greece’s creditors, Theodorakis also said his party will support the government in the last effort to reach a deal with the country’ partners, leaving behind warnings of a rupture with the EU and scenarios of a bankruptcy.
Taking his turn at the podium, the General Secretary of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, said four months have gone by and the government hasn’t achieved anything in its negotiations. He then said: “Maybe a rupture would be a solution … Perhaps the love affair with Europe is over?”
During the same debate the leader of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said the government didn’t abolish the memorandums, as it had pledged.
Dimitris Koutsoumbas also said that Tsipras froze his pre-electoral proposals outlined in a keynote speech in Thessaloniki, is apparently considering entering into new commitments towards NATO and is preparing to sign a new bailout programme.
He noted that any new measures would only add to the existing measures which turn against workers and his party will vote them down.
The leader of the junior coalition partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), told Parliament the government is fulfilling the mandate it received from the Greek people and the party will support a deal which is in line with this mandate. “It’s time for the government’s proposal. We support the government until the mandate of the Greek people is fulfilled. We won’t move an inch from the limits of this mandate. The deal … will end people’s impoverishment and austerity,” Panos Kammenos said.
The leader of ANEL also said the government negotiated with a 47-page proposal which does not include any new memorandums. “The memorandums are over. The government’s proposal is to free the country.”
Taking his turn, the leader of PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos, said the document submitted by the government to the institutions is a “train of terror” compared to the proposals tabled by the previous government.
“The prime minister noted only two harsh measures in the Juncker plan. Abolishing a pension supplement and increasing VAT rates in electricity bills. Unless he’s trying to say he won’t back down from the 47-page document it sent to lenders. But if someone sees this document and compares it with [former finance minister Gikas] Hardouvelis’ email, it is a train of terror compared to the email.”
He warned that the new deal would bring a third bailout programme and wondered about Tsipras’ certainty that a deal will be achieved after “last night’s dead end.”