Alexis Tsipras, leader of left-wing Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), the party that emerged second at the Greek elections 2012, received the mandate to hold exploratory talks and form the next coalition government.
«This is a historical moment for the Left” Alexis Tsipras told President Karolos Papoulias.
Tsipras, 38, will seek to primarily meet with the leaders of left parties (Democratic Left, KKE) but also with parties (Eco-Greens, Social Agreement, ANTARSYA) that did not manage to pass the 3% threshold and enter the parliament.
The meetings with the last three parties will be doen with the perspective of future alliances in case there would be a second round of elections (repeat elections). Eco-Greens, Social Agreement and ANTARSYA received together 5+ percent of the votes.
SYRIZA leader will also meet with PASOK, trade unions and social bodies.
It is questionable whether he will meet with nationalist Independent Greeks, while a meeting with Chrysi Avgi is excluded from his agenda. Most likely he will not meet with Samaras as ND governance programme is in direct opposition to SYRIZA one, as Tsipras said yesterday.
Communist KKE has so far rejected any offers for coalitions.
Greek media report that top of the government agenda of Tsipras is a coalition of the left and to denounce the Memorandum of Understanding, however with modifications that would enable the country to re-negotiate.
Tsipras is expected to reveal his governance proposal lat about 3:30 pm and to exhaust the three days period of the mandate.
Tactics of “Blame Games”?
PASOK (Venizelos) said openly that it would give a minority government SYRIZA/Democratic Left a “vote of tolerance”. The same has been said by some ND officials.
A 71-seat weak government with the support of 149 MPs? A politically weak PM to re-negotiate with EU bureaucrats and IMF technocrats? It looks like a very tricky if not satanic mousetrap.
Noone would wonder if behind PASOK/ND readiness is the purpose to discredit SYRIZA in front of its voters and have the party suffer a defeat in the next elections, whether in upcoming June or later. PASOK lost more than 25% of its former voters mainly to SYRIZA.
Dangerous paths with dirty games…
See all our articles about Elections results, coalition government talks and analysis HERE
This time limit in forming governments is proving another nail in Greece’s coffin. This 3-3-3-….and-then-elections rule makes it impossible to negotiate. For those Greek politicians who do not know what negotiations with opponents are, here a short description: In negotiations you are looking for common ground and in this search you are prepared to do several steps towards the opponents opinions and therefore several steps away from your stated principles. As long as the end result is satisfactory for most, there is no problem with shifting away from some of your election promises.
But knowing that you will face another election in about a months time kills of possibility of moving even an inch. Because you know your opponents and the press will hit you with it big time. And it will take VERY courageous politicians to break that deadlock now.
Samaras has proven, he isn’t one of those. Let’s see if Tsipras has balls.
3 days assume that negotiators go prepared and do not start from zero once they meet.
Clearly the system is designed with the 50 bonus seats and so normally a very clear parliamentary situation in mind – and thus little need for any prolonged negotiations. Besides, the main issue in the present situation seems to be more about the clear divide over the MoU and I don’t see that Samaras could have done much about that, either way.
I also find the Greek system quite sympathetic as at the very least it avoids the protracted-to-the-point-of-absurd government formations that we have seen in the Netherlands and (particularly) in Belgium lately.
Karl, I agree that the Greek system has it’s good things over the Dutch and Belgium ones. The politicians in those countries have made it into a leisurely sport to go as slowly as possible in negotiations. But as long as they have the luxury to do that, because the country goes on in a almost normal and orderly way without them, it is fine. But as soon as there are real pressing problems there is no excuse doing that.
I think a part of the Dutch politicians have shown in the last few weeks that they understand that. And they hammered out an accord in two days about something the former coalition was dithering about for 7 weeks.
And even in Belgium, it was, I think necessary to take that time at this junction, because they had major problems that were never dealt with and were festering.
As for Greece. I appreciate totally the lack of experience in these kind of negotiations. I am just pointing out that Greece has no time for stalling anymore and no time for learning. It has to act one way or the other. And every politician who is, after Sunday, still just occupied with his own fortunes and playing the old games is a danger to the future of Greece and it’s people, because he/she is playing with the lives of real living people.
After an earthquake election results as these are, nobody can be prepared in just one day to go into negotiations. If you want to have results everybody has to shift and slide a bit or more.
Totally agreed, just one comment: Samaras proved that he is one of those… Pre-electorally he said he will not cooperate with any other party, and post-electorally his first move was to contact everyone (except the nazis). He was turned down and thus the Greek nation is held hostage once again by power thirsty parties.
such talks depend also on flexibility of the sides and skills of leaders’ aides. You can’t be rigid on your positions and want to govern with 18.85%
“A politically weak PM to re-negotiate with EU bureaucrats and IMF technocrats?”
The only negotiating lever Greece has is the threat of the political and economic damage to the EU of eurozone exit. In this case, ‘weakness is strength’ – it makes the threat credible.
Is Syriza affraid? Now, they are not an anti-sistem party, anymore. They are very close to power. If they get there, they should expect opposition in parliament (and in the streets…). That’s how things work in a sistem we like lo live in. This is a big boys game. Running a country is far more difficult than organizing rallies. Very intersting times in Greece.