In anticipation of the decisive vote at the Greek Parliament, the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group convened on Wednesday.
The country’s governing party is facing one of its most crucial moments since its inception in 2004 with a significant number of lawmakers set to vote against the bailout deal Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to with international creditors in Brussels on Monday.
“I am the Prime Minister because I have a Parliamentary Group that I depend on,” Tsipras told SYRIZA lawmakers at the meeting. “If I do not have support from the Parliamentary Group, it is difficult for me to be Prime Minister the following day.”
Tsipras addressed his lawmakers and urged dissidents to come forward with a viable alternative proposal.
“I exhausted all of our negotiating capabilities and examined all possible alternatives,” he said.
The Greek PM narrated the events that took place during the negotiations in Brussels and repeated his assertion that certain conservative camps wanted to pressure Greece out of the euro. He also claimed that some camps, within the country and abroad, wanted to overthrow the government and put a new one in place.
Tsipras also reportedly said that his party is responsible for preventing a humanitarian crisis in Greece and urged his lawmakers to remain united at this crucial moment.
Panagiotis Lafazanis, leader of the so-called Left Platform, a sub-group within SYRIZA that is likely to vote down the bailout deal in Parliament on Wednesday, said that the presented dilemma between a deal or a catastrophe is not true.
“There has been and always will be an alternative solution. It is a matter of political choice and political decision. It is not a technical issue,” he told reporters after the meeting and added “It is unacceptable for the government to succumb to the creditors’ deplorable choices, in the name of blackmail.”
Despite his vehement opposition to the deal, Lafazanis has not resigned from his post as Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister. Following the meeting, he said that SYRIZA’s unity and support toward the government are guaranteed.