Greek PM: Agreement on Presidential Election a Must

Premier Antonis Samaras wants term limits and open books for political parties
Negotiations to wrap up the fiscal adjustment program with the country’s Troika of lenders are “tough and comprehensive but must be completed before the end of the year,” Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told Greek newspaper “Ethnos” in an interview published on Sunday.

“The political agreement for ‘the day after’ the program must end conclusively within December,” Samaras was quoted as saying, “and we are working feverishly to accomplish this… The last negotiation with the Troika before the completion of the program was what we knew it would be – tough and comprehensive.”

Addressing a message to the lenders that Greece “has broken all records in reforms and fiscal adjustments in a minimum of time,” he added that “nobody can criticise us for ‘not having done enough’,” and asserted that Greece will continue to observe the fiscal targets and implement reforms.

At the same time, Samaras sent a strong message to main opposition SYRIZA regarding “the day after,” stressing that “we must put a conclusive end to political uncertainty by electing a President of the Hellenic Republic within the next three months. Because if we do not, this will mean political uncertainty and extensive lack of governance, resulting to an obligatory return to memoranda from a much more difficult position. This would be catastrophic for the country.”

The premier called for political agreement to contribute to stability but said the opposition cannot keep pushing for national elections: “The opposition may have any disagreement it wants over our policies, that is their right; nobody is asking them to change opinion on anything. But they cannot be dragging the country to early elections on the occasion of the presidential elections, leading the way to instability, now that we are permanently exiting the crisis.”

“If they want us to reach an agreement on how to vote for the President, then a national agreement is possible, and I am the first to support it. [But] if they insist on dragging the country to national elections, then what exactly should we ‘agree’ on? How to blow everything up?”

The choices are obvious, he said. Either we remain on the path of fiscal health and continuing reforms, or return to the era of fiscal deficits.

(source: Ethnos, ana-mpa)


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