Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will decide the time of snap elections after a meeting with key advisers at 2:00 pm on Thursday.
Tsipras wants to resolve the rift within his party after almost a third of SYRIZA lawmakers voted against the bailout agreement and state they would not give the Prime Minister a vote of confidence if it was called. Also, opposition parties who supported his decision to sign the bailout agreement, said they would not support him any further.
Seeing that his leadership is challenged, Tsipras has decided to resort to snap elections. The question is when.
There is a lot of speculation over Tsipras’ decision as several cabinet members advise him to go ahead and have the elections as soon as possible in order to take advantage of his popularity.
At the same time, they say, if elections are to be held in twenty days from the time they are announced –which is the minimum time period allowed– then the SYRIZA Left Platform will not have enough time to form a new party and challenge Tsipras.
Also, the SYRIZA advocates of “express” elections argue that the single property tax bills and other taxes due will arrive to Greek households in October. Until then, Greek people would have not felt the tax burden the new agreement entails. Therefore Tsipras will still be unscathed by the repercussions of the austerity reforms that will be implemented from October on.
The other set of advisers believe that Tsipras should wait until mid October at least. By then, the bills required by the bailout program would have been voted in the Greek Parliament summer sessions. This way, the Greek government would gain the trust of European partners and the first review will take place. Also, the implementation of reforms would show creditors that Greece complies with the conditions of the bailout and they would sit down on the negotiating table again to discuss debt relief.