Greek government has 'no intention' of calling early election

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras delivering a speech at an anti-austerity rally in Athens.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras delivering a speech at an anti-austerity rally in Athens. PHOTO: REUTERS

ATHENS (AFP) - Greece's government has "no intention" of calling early elections while in the throes of finalising a deal with its eurozone partners on a new bailout, a spokesman for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Monday.

"Elections are not useful at the moment and the government has no intention of organising any," spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili told state news agency ANA.

"The goal is to finalise the deal (with Europe) and restore normality and stability," she said.

Tsipras was dealt a blow by his own camp during last week's parliamentary vote on the first batch of austerity measures demanded by lenders in return for a new 82-billion-euro (S$122.2 billion) rescue package.

 

Around one fifth of Syriza lawmakers, including three ministers, rejected the deal - leaving Tsipras relying on opposition support to push through the unpopular reforms.

He faces another test on Wednesday when a second batch of measures, relating to banking and justice, are put to a vote.

Tsipras has himself expressed serious misgivings over the bailout deal but said Greece's creditors left the country with no option but to accept their terms.