The European Union’s finance chief, who has been backing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, suggested Greeks must vote him back into office with a stronger mandate in new elections.
Pierre Moscovici, who had been criticized for injecting himself into the country’s politics, said after the Greek Parliament failed to elect a new President, setting the stage for snap elections on Jan. 25, that voters should back what he called a pro-European course, diplomatic code for supporting Samaras.
The Premier’s coalition of his New Democracy Conservatives and its partner the PASOK Socialists, had imposed harsh austerity measures demanded by its international lenders, including the EU and Eurozone, in return for two bailouts.
Polls show, however, that the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) that opposes the conditions and would seek to revise the terms of 240 billion euros ($306 billion) in the rescue packages is leading, worrying EU leaders who fear the banks won’t get repaid.
“Through this democratic process, the Greek people will once again decide on their future. A strong commitment to Europe and broad support among the Greek voters and political leaders for the necessary growth-friendly reform process will be essential for Greece to thrive again within the euro area,” Moscovici said in a statement.