After a lengthy Central Committee meeting that concluded shortly after midnight, it was eventually decided by a show of hands to hold an extraordinary party congress in September, thus paving the way for further developments within the party.

Ultimately the proposal of party leader Alexis Tsipras – for an extraordinary party congress – went though, with his opponents, such as Panagiotis Lafazanis, instead arguing for an inter-party referendum for this Sunday and a standing party congress in August. The main difference between an extraordinary and standing party congress is that in the former case new party bodies will be elected, whereas in the latter, the same bodies from 2013 would carry on.

Thursday’s debate was rather tense, with a number of prominent party officers taking the stand. SYRIZA PG spokesperson Nikos Filis fully supported the PM’s efforts and lashed out against former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. State Minister Nikos Pappas defended the government’s negotiations efforts and underlined that while not ideal, it should not be entirely dismissed.

During the meeting, the chief of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) Rudi Rinaldi announced his resignation from SYRIZA’s Central Committee and was highly critical of the government’s political choices and Alexis Tsipras. Mr. Rinaldi also resigned from SYRIZA’s political secretariat on the 21st of July, in protest of the Prime Minister’s handling of the negotiations.

Government VP Yannis Dragasakis on the other hand warned that if SYRIZA were to fall from power, it would never have the opportunity again to test its strength and proposed a refounding of SYRIZA. Mr. Dragasakis noted that “parties within the party” were allowed to operate and stressed that “we reap what we have sown”. He also revealed that during the negotiations, when the possibility of a rupture with Europe was distinct, there were serious concerns on how to pay for the import of essential goods.