ATHENS – New Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a day after taking office, said his first task will be to try to end the warring between political parties.
The ruling coalition led by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras – who nominated Pavlopoulos, although he’s from the New Democracy Conservatives – has been at odds with his rivals as he tries to renegotiate with international lenders the terms of bailouts previous governments had accepted.
Pavlopoulos said, “It is a common effort,” he is seeking. “There may be different views about how this could be achieved but the goal is the same. We should not forget this.”
It wasn’t reported whether he checked in with his party leader, former Premier Antonis Samaras, who has been sniping at Tsipras and SYRIZA.
But when asked about whether he planned to call a meeting of party leaders, Pavlopoulos said that has to come from Tsipras, essentially leaving the President sidelined. He has a symbolic role with virtually no powers and mostly just takes part in photo opportunities.
“If called upon, I will fulfill my role,” he said, although it’s not know what that is. When he was a lawmaker and minister for New Democracy he opposed SYRIZA but now wants to work with the it.
Greece is locked in talks with its creditors over the terms of a bailout extension Tsipras said he would never take, drawing sneers from Samaras who said the new Premier is falling in line just as did the previous governments and being forced to abide by conditions set by the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).
Tsipras’ partner, the Independent Greeks, (ANEL) is led by a New Democracy outcast, now Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who is a bitter foe of Samaras and his former party.Source: The National Herald