ATHENS – Greek President Karolos Papoulias has been urged by the Honorary President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce to bring warring political parties together to find his successor.
Yanos Gramatidis said it was critical for Papoulias to play a role in determining whether the ruling parties choice to follow him, New Democracy Vice-President Stavros Dimas, is elected on a third and final ballot in Parliament on Dec. 29.
Papoulias, who holds a symbolic office with virtually no powers and consists mostly of having his photo taken at national events and with political leaders, has sat on the sidelines and said nothing so far as the process to replace him as undermined an economic recovery and set political parties at each other’s throats.
Gramatidis said failure to elect Dimas in the first two rounds – and the prospect of failure in a third which would mean early national elections – means Papoulias has to step up and stop a political crisis “that is leading to unforeseeable consequences, among them a possible impact on issues of national importance.”
In his message to the outgoing President, Gramatidis added that, “Despite the absence of a Constitutional provision to that effect, the President of the Republic is urgently asked, as the sole national guarantee, to call on the council of party leaders and take initiatives aimed at raising the politicians to the level that the circumstances require and at finding a sustainable solution to see Greece out of its existing dead end.”
Prime Minister and New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras, and his coalition partner, PASOK Socialist chief Evangelos Venizelos said it was essential for Dimas to win and end a period of political instability just as Greece is starting to show signs of recovering from a looming economic crisis.
So far, the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) that is leading in polls and wants early national elections has succeeded in thwarting Dimas’ election.