31st Mar 2023

Tsipras threatens Syriza rebels with snap elections

  • Syriza 'never became a unified party' said PM Tsipras (Photo:

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has threatened dissenting members of his ruling left-wing Syriza party with elections, ahead of a scheduled meeting Thursday (30 July) of Syriza's central committee to discuss internal disagreement over Greece's deal with creditors.

“I am the last person who would want elections if we had a guaranteed majority in parliament. … If I don’t have it though, we will have to go to elections,” said Tsipras in an interview with Sto Kokkino FM, according to Kathimerini newspaper.

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“Collective decisions must be honoured. … Anyone who does not want to honour them should hand over their seat”, the Greek PM added.

Tsipras is facing opposition within his Syriza party over the deal he reached with Greece's creditors at a eurozone summit in Brussels earlier this month.

The deal foresees a series of painful reforms, many of which had been rejected by the Syriza party before it came to power.

In last week's parliament vote on a second set of measures required for an €86 billion bailout, 36 Syriza members voted against the government or abstained.

Syriza, which won a landslide victory in January and was originally a coalition of left-wing and far-left parties, “never became a unified party”, noted Tsipras, who added he had “no regrets” over his government's negotiation tactics.

Speaking to his electorate, which brought his government to power on promises that austerity would end, he said “memorandums could be annulled with one piece of legislation.”

“We said we would try to emerge from an asphyxiating situation. We didn’t promise Greek people a walk in the park,” noted Tsipras, adding that his government will carry out the reform measures agreed in Brussels, but “nothing beyond that”.

He made his remarks as bailout talks continued in Athens with representatives of Greece's three international creditors.

“The negotiations are taking place in good conditions of cooperation”, said EU economy commissioner Pierre Moscovici, as a Greek official said there was “a very good atmosphere”, according to AFP.

Meanwhile in Frankfurt, the ECB left the emergency credit lifeline unchanged Wednesday, according to international news agencies. Reuters reported that Greece made no request for an increase in the ECB's Emergency Liquidity Assistance.

Greek account holders have €420 cap on withdrawals per week, but AFP reported that the Athens stock exchange, closed for almost a month, may reopen within days.

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