Greece To Hold Snap Elections in June
Greeks are expected to go back to vote in June after the talks between the most important parties in the country failed to offer a solution for the political stalemate created by the inconclusive result of the elections held a week ago. The announcement comes as the efforts made by the president of Greece, Karolos Papoulias, to bring the leftist Syriza party to commit to an alliance with the New Democracy party and the Socialist party in a national salvation government.
The elections are possible, analysts say, as soon as June 17, and they reflect the refuse of the newly emerged parties to implement the austerity measures convened by PASOK and the New Democracy party while they were in power over the past years. The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, said that the people have spoken and have decided that the austerity measures would no longer be acceptable for Greece, and that his party would not accept to make alliances with those who backed the austerity measures and are now hated by the people, who expressed their anger by the way they voted.
The three leading parties have been attempting to form in turn a government and to enlist the support of the other two, but they all failed, leaving the president with the option of proposing on Monday a government of technocrats, in an attempt to avoid the snap elections.
The political instability fuels the fear that Greece may be forced to leave the eurozone in spite of the support of the population for the unique currency, which is said by the opinion polls to run as high as 70 percent.
The talks to create a government collapsed on Tuesday and the leaders of the three more important parties announced that snap elections will be called in June.
In his speech of announcement of the elections, Socialist party leader Evangelos Venizelos said that the country was heading back to elections under very bad circumstances, and accused that “some people coldly put their short-term interests above the national interest.”
Venizelos said that the leader of the Democratic Left party had proposed a two-year government but that he insisted on including Syriza in the agreement, which is a radical leftist anti-bailout party.
Syriza came second in the election on May 6 by campaigning against the austerity measures and promised to form no alliance with other parties that support the austerity. The leadership of the party is counting on the popular vote to come first if the election re-runs, thus terminating Greece’s chances to stick to the agreed program with the European Union, which is expected to deliver Greece the rest of the money only if it implements the austerity measures people find so repulsive.
Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday announced that a meeting would be held on Wednesday in order to agree on a caretaker government to lead the country until mid-June, when the elections can be held again.
According to Greek constitution, the leaders of the parties must agree on a caretaker government until election day, and if they cannot, the president has the prerogative of appointing the chief justice of Supreme Administrative Court, the Supreme Court or the Court of Audits to act as prime minister until elections.
The polls indicate that the political landscape will not look anymore different after the next election, only that it annuls the possibility of negotiating for a government because by the next of June Greece will have to inform the European partners about the measures it has implementing to meet the demands of the international lenders, which have already announced that no aid disbursement would be held until the new government was formed.11