The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Lefteris Papadimas

ATHENS (Reuters) — Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos is expected on Friday to call a snap election for next month, an official at the presidency told Reuters, ending fruitless coalition efforts among parties deeply divided over the country’s new bailout.

Following last week’s resignation of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Pavlopoulos asked a conservative and a radical left leader to try to form a new government and thereby avoid another election just seven months after the previous poll.

The official stressed on Wednesday that the timetable could still change, but said Pavlopoulos intended to appoint a caretaker premier, Supreme Court judge Vassiliki Thanou, on Friday. Thanou would become Greece’s first female prime minister, albeit briefly.

“The same day the president will announce the election date and it will probably be Sept. 20. The president wants the process to be fast and have elections as soon as possible,” the official said.

Tsipras, who during his seven months in office took Greece to the brink of financial collapse and exit from the euro, resigned in the hope of crushing a far-left rebellion in his Syriza party and strengthening his grip on power through a snap election.

Syriza says it is aiming for an outright majority, although the strength of its support is unclear due to a lack of surveys by leading pollsters in the past month. Last week, 25 out of Syriza’s 149 lawmakers walked out to form a new anti-bailout party.

Tsipras had to rely on temporary support from the opposition to get the 86 billion euro ($98 billion) bailout program through parliament.

Almost a third of Syriza lawmakers refused to back the deal, objecting to onerous austerity and reform conditions demanded by Greece’s creditors from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund.

(writing by David Stamp; editing by Gareth Jones)

Photo: Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (R) welcomes the leader of conservative New Democracy party Vangelis Meimarakis before their meeting in the presidential palace in Athens, Greece, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants her Democrats to push through trillions of dollars worth of investments in infrastructure and social service programs before a self-imposed deadline of September 30, 2021

Washington (AFP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence a massive infrastructure bill will pass this week but acknowledged it would not get a Monday vote as planned, with fellow Democrats warning critical work remains to meet the party's deadlines.

Democrats have been scrambling to hammer out a landmark plan to upgrade the nation's roads and bridges, but are also under immense pressure to finalize a $3.5 trillion public investment package and fund the government to avert a looming shutdown -- all by September 30.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}