Athens.- SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has called on opposition and independent MPs to clarify how they intend to vote in February’s presidential election, which could lead to an early national vote, as a new opinion poll indicated that the leftists are expanding their lead over New Democracy.
Tsipras’s comments came all three opinion polls show his opposition party with a steady lead. A survey conducted by the University of Macedonia showed that the leftists are now 7.5 percentage points ahead of New Democracy.
The opinion poll put SYRIZA on 27.5 percent, New Democracy on 20, To Potami 7.5, Golden Dawn 6.5, the Communist Party 5.5, the Olive Tree alliance (PASOK) 4, Independent Greeks 2.5 and Democratic Left (DIMAR) 0.5.
Compared to the previous survey by Macedonia University, which was a month earlier, the gap between SYRIZA and New Democracy has grown by 1.5 percent.
A Metron Analysis survey for Parapolitika newspaper on Saturday indicated that support for SYRIZA is running at 32.9 percent against 26.1 percent for New Democracy.
The Macedonia University poll also suggested that a slightly larger proportion of Greeks (49.5 percent) believes that Parliament should not elect a new president than those (43 percent) who think it is best for MPs to elect one.
Meanwhile in another opinion poll conducted by Kappa Research for Sunday newspaper VIMA, SYRIZA leads by 3.9 percent over ruling New Democracy (ND) in the general elections.
According to the poll results, SYRIZA leads among those questioned with 27.4 percent, followed by New Democracy (ND) with 23.5 percent, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 6.4 percent, PASOK with 5.8 percent, To Potami with 5.6 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 5.3 percent and Independent Greeks with 3.8 percent.
At a question who is more suitable for prime minister, ND leader and current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras leads with 42.5 followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 36.1 percent.
50.8 percent of those questioned said that they preferred the new President of Republic to be elected by the current parliament while 42.3 percent said they want early elections and the new parliament to elect the president.
Moreover, 52.4 percent of the respondents said that early elections would have a negative effect to the country’s economy and to the Greek society.
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Saturday underlined the need his party to dominate politically and to take advantage of its victory in the euroelections and within this framework to undertake initiatives towards the national agreement, during his address to his party’s central committee.
He charged the government and Prime Minister (Antonis Samaras) for “humiliation of the parliamentary institutions and scaremongering” and reassured that SYRIZA will not follow this path.
He stated that his party is at this moment the most powerful and organised political force of the country, that it is a political force that secures the stability”.
Ahead of the start of the procedures for the election of President of Republic, Tsipras called all the political forces as well as the independent MPs to state their position clearly.
Despite the fact that he did not rule out the possibility of rapid political developments he underlined “we can say with certainty that the presidential elections will be a landmark for the country” because as he said “the government has not the parliamentary majority to elect the new president which would allow it to continue its disastrous course”.
Tsipras said that SYRIZA should not be trapped in the so-called ideological clarity adding that authority means “the ability to create a majority with axis our programme” and pledged that he will insist on the need of a wide political, social and national agreement.
He said that the government has dried along with its success story’s bubble and charged Samaras and Venizelos that ” in order to undermine SYRIZA, they do not hesitate to undermine the country’s stability” adding that the prime minister did not have the boldness to demand what the programme he co-signed foresees: that after the achievement of a primary surplus he will start the discussion for the debt’s sustainability”.
The main opposition leader predicted that “probably the markets will be hostile towards Greece for a long period” adding that the markets are playing their own games and opined that only after a substantial debt relief they will stop being hostile”.
Referring to the developments in the Balkans and in the Middle East, Tsipras charged Turkey’s stance on Cyprus Republic’s EEZ saying that “it consists a despicable violation of Cyprus Republic’s rights enshrined by the international law. He also expressed his concern over the recent developments in Dervitsani, Albania, noting the need for immediate action against the nationalist tension in the Balkans that is against the efforts for cooperation and solution to the problems of the area.
Government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi on Saturday referring to SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ address to his party’s central committee said “Mr. Tsipras appeared panicked before the turmoil he provoked with his inflammatory statements”.
Voultepsi also noted that the main opposition leader «has hidden his inter-party contradictions regarding on whether they will proceed in unilateral actions for the debt. He played the lion tamer of the markets and send again the message for early elections and abolition of the laws” adding that “he once again mixed up the debt’s sustainability with the unilateral actions that he preannounced which consist a threat for the Greek economy and the country’s position in Europe”.
“Tsipras appeared more mixed up and contradictory than ever” she said.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras clarified on Saturday that “elections will be held in June 2016, at the end of the four-year parliamentary term” in an interview to Reuters after participating in a meeting of European and Asian leaders in Milan.
Samaras said that Athens continues successfully its course to exit from the international support programme noting that he sees one option as a credit line that Athens could tap post-bailout should it fall prey to future market turmoil adding that Greece would ride out market doubts about whether it can survive without international support.
Samaras also reiterated that Athens was talking with its lenders about what should happen if Greece succeeds in leaving its bailout programme by the end of December, a year ahead of schedule.
However, a three-day sell-off in the markets has again pushed Greece’s 10-year bond yields past 9 percent and sent shares tumbling to their lowest since July last year calls into question whether Athens will be able to implement its programme and to leave from the support programme at the beginning of 2015.
“Five years of sacrifices can be lost in five days” warned on Saturday government vice president, foreign minister and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos during his speech at a PASOK event on health held in Thessaloniki.
“What we experience in the last days” he said referring to the markets’ reaction “is the danger for our country” he said and wondered what will happen if a new president of Republic is not elected and we have early elections and a SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government is formed “The best case scenario will be proved a political scam, but the scenarios of absolute disaster and annulment of the people’s sacrifices all exist because it is not very hard for the system to collapse».
Referring to the negotiation that SYRIZA says it will do if it forms a government, Venizelos noted “Some have the impression that the Europeans are afraid of them. That they will persuade and hypnotise with their charm our European partners and will bow and accept solutions, something they do not do to us (the government). He clarified that the country’s exit from the memorandums will be held in accordance with the EU, the exit from the crisis will exist with the European support and referred to a reform plan clarifying that the country can turn page and the government is knows what it want and knows when to ask it.
Venizelos likened the country’s problems to a hydra “We have to struggle with a hydra. Every day new problems emerge” he said.
Regarding his party he said that many people charge it with “treason of principles and values” but they do not understand the huge work PASOK has offered to the country and admitted that his party fuelled for years the perception of statism and the clientele relations but on the other hand how can we forget PASOK governments’ achievements as the National Health System.
Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis called the political forces of the country to agree on the elementary for the country, at his address on Saturday to his party’s central committee which convenes to elect DIMAR’s new secretary and executive committee.
“The disengagement from the memorandum can’t exist with an alleged ‘easy’ recourse to the markets. The disengagement from the memorandum can’t exist through its abolition by a law” he said adding that “easy and magic solutions do not exist, only just and efficient solution. The need for a substantial re-negotiation with our partners exists along with the potential for different reforms in the fields of the interior policy that will reduce the inequalities and will modernise the country” he underlined.
Referring to the political stability, Kouvelis said that “political stability means that we leave behind the old habits of the clientelism State’.
On the presidential elections he said that “the presidential elections procedure should not turn into a tool of petty politics planning” underlined Kouvelis.
Democratic Left (DIMAR) defector Spyros Lykoudis is expected to announce the creation of a new “political initiative” on Tuesday. Lykoudis resigned from the party in September over disagreements with Fotis Kouvelis’s leadership.
Lykoudis, now an independent lawmaker, said he would like to be the creator of a “grand strategy” that would bring together Greece’s center-left.
Lykoudis added that he would be prepared to vote for the government’s candidate for president of the republic in February, depending on the candidate. The MP said he is against the idea of going to early elections.