Io Chokona / Athens, July 29 () - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would be the last person to want snap elections, if he had continued to have the majority support in the parliament, in an interview on July 29.
“If we do not have a parliament majority I will be forced, we will be forced to hold elections” Tsipras said in a two-hour interview with Sto Kokkino radio. “I would be the last person to want elections if I had a guaranteed parliamentary majority on a plan to complete (our) four-year term... That includes completing the (credit) program.”
He added that under the terms of the EU-IMF agreement signed on July 12, Greece after November could expect a reduction of its huge public debt in addition to up to 86 billion euros in funds, following a first assessment of reforms.
Tsipras faces strong resistance from a sizeable faction of his leftist Syriza party that rejects the new bailout as contrary to the government’s anti-austerity promises.
In response, Tsipras has called for an emergency party congress to confirm the government’s strategy, adding that this would “to a great extent” determine whether early elections will have to be held to take the country forward.
Earlier this month, Greece’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a new reform package, demanded by the country’s creditors, openin the door for talks on a third multi-billion euro credit package as the Syriza government passes the hard crash test on early Thursday.
Lawmakers voted 230-63 in favor of the measures, amid a debate in the parliament and protests in the streets. Another 5 members of the 300-seat house voted present, a kind of objection.
Tsipras saw more than 30 of his 149 lawmakers mutiny in two separate votes in parliament to approve tax hikes, a pension overhaul and administrative reforms tied to the bailout, effectively rendering his coalition a minority government.
On July 29 he said he faced “surreal” behavior from some of his party cadres who claimed to support the government while voting against the measures to preserve their “ideological purity”.
A possible demand by hardliners for a party decision before the bailout agreement is finalized and ratified by parliament was tantamount to “making the bomb explode in (my) hands” he said.