ATHENS – Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis said he would ask President Karolos Papoulias to ask for a meeting of party leaders to forge a common ground on debt relief.
The government is set to receive envoys from international lenders and one of Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras’ strategies is to ask for a restructuring of the 240 billion euros ($306 billion) it owes them, including a longer time to repay and lower interest.
Samaras hasn’t ruled out asking for a write-off of a big chunk of what the country owes, although that would mean taxpayers in the other 17 Eurozone countries would have to pick up the tab for decades of wild overspending and runaway patronage by his party and its coalition partner, the PASOK Socialists.
Kouvelis, whose party served in the coalition until he quit in a huff over worker firings, wants Papoulias to convene a meeting of leaders’ council so that a common position can be created ahead of negotiations between the government and Greece’s lenders on how to reduce the country’s debt pile.
Papoulias is the only one that can call such a meeting, although this would also require the approval of Samaras. DIMAR is now an irrelevant party in Greece, failing to register in a recent survey.
Despite that, Kouvelis has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Papoulias, which would be an attempt by the ruling parties to thwart the anti-austerity major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) which wants the deal with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) revised, or even for Greece to walk away from it.