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01/10/2016

Centrist Potami party supports Tsipras

Euro & Finance

Centrist Potami party supports Tsipras

Stavros Theodorakis

[Wikimedia]

Greece’s opposition parties are divided about ongoing negotiations between Athens and its creditors. Potami supports the Syriza-led government’s efforts, while New Democracy and Pasok are taking a hard line. EurActiv Greece reports.

The main opposition party, the centre-right New Democracy, claims that Alexis Tsipras is not to be trusted.

Vangelis Meimarakis, interim head of New Democracy, following the resignation of Antonis Samaras, told journalists: “I don’t trust him […] If I was to meet him in Maximos Mansion [the official workplace of the Prime Minister] I would need to bring with me two note-takers and two tape recorders.”

He also said that Greek premier’s performance in the European Parliament “ruined” the country’s image. For those who have watched his performance however, this may sound as an overstatement.

>>Read: Tsipras faces the heat of the EU machine

Fofi Gennimata, the chief of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), attacked Tsipras, saying that he had “dark double plans with expediencies and hidden agendas”.

“The only choice of Tsipras is to say a resounding ‘Yes’ to Europe and to the Eurozone. […] He has to submit a comprehensive proposal”, she added.

Potami backs government negotiation efforts

The head of centre-left Potami [S&D], Stavros Theodorakis, made it clear that he was supportive of Tsipras.

“We have to convince some reluctant [member states] in Europe that the future of the Greeks is the heart of Europe,” Theodorakis said.

Potami (The River) is a political party founded in 2014, described as centrist and centre-left. It has 17 MPs in the 300-member parliament.

He added that Greece had “allies” that want the country to remain part of the eurozone, and to struggle for that.

“Among them is the French President, François Hollande,” he stressed.

>>Read: France says letting Greece go means admitting EU’s ‘impotence’

Speaking about the “opponents” and those who want Greece out of the eurozone, Theodorakis emphasised that Athens would do them no such favour.

Analysts estimate that a possible split in Syriza, due to a new bailout, might bring the moderate Tsipras camp closer to the S&D.

>>Read: Leftist Syriza MPs to reject new EU deal

Greek president warns of ‘disaster’

The center-right Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos encouraged Tsipras to find a “viable solution” and avoid a “disaster”.

“Our country is in a quite critical situation. It is urgent to reach an agreement with our partners to prevent a huge national risk,” Papoulias said.

He continued, saying that Tsipras and the government were talking about a viable and just solution “and it should be like this”.

“But in order to be able to talk about the viability of the economy and social justice, we should belong to the EU core. Otherwise, the disaster will be inevitable,” the President added.