Antonis Samaras, head of the center-right New Democracy party and most likely to win coming Greek elections, warned again he may force a second poll if he is unable to secure a majority in parliament.
Speaking to privately-owned Mega television channel, Samaras was cool to the idea of forming a coalition with the rival Socialist, or Pasok, party. Opinion polls show the two parties, Greece’s largest, will have to work together to push through the country’s reform agenda that is needed if Greece is to qualify for a new EUR130 billion bailout package from international lenders.
“Like all big teams, I am entering the playing field with the aim to win. I’m not in it to draw or to lose. And if I am unable to form a government, what can I do? The question is: will the country remain without a government? Necessarily so. Not due to my doing. We will have to go to elections again,” Samaras said in the interview aired late Monday.
Elections, widely expected for May 6, are likely to be announced this week. Surveys show the popularity of Greece’s two mainstream political parties, which back the country’s interim coalition government, at an all-time low.
In the interview, Samaras raised doubts over whether he would continue to work with Pasok after the elections.
“I don’t trust Pasok,” Samaras said. “I want to change Greece. I don’t want to divvy up ministries. I don’t want the forbearance of Pasok. I want the mandate of the Greek people.”
It is at least the third time he has raised the prospect of a second set of elections.
(source: Mega, DowJones)