ATHENS – Repeating its frequent call, the major rival New Democracy Conservatives said Greece needs snap elections now and can't wait until October, 2019 when they must be held, because the country is entering another critical period with three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ending on Aug. 20.
In an interview with Parapolitika newspaper, New Democracy spokeswoman Maria Spyraki said that “the crucial issue for Greece, now that the bailout loans are over, is to move ahead without looking back.”
With Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras continuing to ignore calls for new elections and still claiming there will be a “clean exit” from the bailouts, she said the economy and government will be monitored for years by the lenders, the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) and the Washington, D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The prolonged crisis of confidence [in Greece] is putting the sacrifices of the Greek people at risk,” she said, adding that a speculated cabinet reshuffle would not help Tsipras and his coalition, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos who have fallen to about 1 percent in polls, far below the 3 percent threshold needed to get back into Parliament in the nexts elections.
New Democracy has consistently held leads of 10-17 percent over SYRIZA and Tsipras after he repeatedly reneged on anti-austerity promises and buried workers, pensioners and the poor with more brutal measures he swore to reject but implemented instead to get a third rescue package in the summer of 2015, this one for 86 billion euros ($98.46 billion) that came with more.