Speaking to his party’s MPs on Thursday, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mistotakis urged voters who are disgruntled with SYRIZA to use the European Parliament and local elections due on May 26 as an opportunity to vent their anger against the left-wing party.
The government hopes it has done enough to secure almost 1 billion euros in debt relief measures at the April 5 Eurogroup after tabling the draft legislation for the protection of primary residences and hopes to follow this up by launching settlement schemes for social security and tax debts in due course.
Having navigated Monday’s national holiday without major incident, SYRIZA is turning its focus to Tuesday’s meeting of its political secretariat and the announcement of the latest batch of candidates for European Parliament elections.
The announcement by government sources on Wednesday that draft legislation regarding the protection of primary residences will be submitted to Parliament on Friday without there necessarily being an agreement with the institutions has prompted questions about SYRIZA’s motives.
Amid growing speculation that Alexis Tsipras is thinking of rejecting the option of holding snap general elections in May, the prime minister has given the strongest public indication yet that he wants his government to see out its four-year term.
Although Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had lunch at his office on Saturday with some of SYRIZA’s candidates for the European Parliament elections, the media’s focus remains on the national vote and particularly the date it will be held.
Relying on just a simple majority, the next Greek government will have the opportunity to decouple the election of the president of the republic from possible snap elections, thereby removing any uncertainty regarding how long its term in office will last.
Insisting that national elections will be held in the autumn, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has attempted to rally his MPs and hammer out the dividing lines between SYRIZA and New Democracy before the first encounter at the polls between the parties.
Speculation about the national vote has been overshadowed this week by the parties’ preparations for the European Parliament elections on May 26.
Alexis Tsipras is expected to name on Tuesday or Wednesday the first 10-15 names on SYRIZA’s list of candidates for the European Parliament elections, perhaps giving an indication of how much of a fight the leftists plan to put up and what this might mean for the national vote.