With some viewing the government’s recent welfare handouts as presaging early elections – and others, mainly in New Democracy, viewing the disagreement between the two ruling coalition partners on whether to accept the word Macedonia in the name of Greece’s northern neighbor (junior partner Panos Kammenos is opposed) – the secretary of Syriza’s executive Central Committee, Panos Rigas, stressed that the ruling majority is solid, and that there is no chance of elections before the end of the government’s term, in 2019.
Rigas’ remarks were made in an interview with Praktoreio 104.9 radio, in which he denounced New Democracy’s opposition tactics.
“New Democracy has to find a political narrative, but unfortunately it has chosen the path of disaster-mongering, and now it is cultivating an elections climate,” Rigas said.
The Syriza MP said that the government is focused on exiting the bailout memorandum and the related supervision, and on faithfully fulfilling its commitments to creditors.
‘Parliament’s trust is a given’
Regarding New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ assertion that the intra-coalition dispute on the Macedonia naming issue will essentially mean that the government has lost the trust of parliament – which in turn means that snap elections would then have to be called – Rigas said that, “The trust of parliament and the solid governmental majority is a given.”
Rigas called on Mitsotakis and his sister, MP and ex-foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, to take a public stand on the solution they prefer.
New Democracy must take a stand
“I think a solution must be found. There are the proposals that were made by Konstantinos Mitsotakis [who favoured a compromise with Skope] and by Konstantinos Karamanlis [who rejected the use of the name Macedonia by Skopje]. It is necessary and beneficial to find a solution, and they must answer,” Rigas said.
The good neighbourly relations and foreign policy pursued by the Greek government have brough calm, and the country is a pole of stability in the Balkans and the Middle East,” Rigas said.