ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has a tougher audience than international lenders as he tries to strike a deal: dissidents in his Radical Left SYRIZA party.
The party is a motley collection of anarchists, communists, leftists and far-leftists, many of whom don’t want any deal with the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) and would prefer Greece be pushed out of the Eurozone.
With Greece going broke, Tsipras is hoping to strike an agreement with the troika to get release of a 7.2-billion euro installment but faces the tough task of convincing all his lawmakers to go along if he compromises election pledges to reverse austerity.
“If there is an agreement that does not represent an honest and forward-looking compromise, voters will have to be consulted before we sign it,” said Labor Minister Panos Skourletis.
“The popular mandate we have is clearly in favor of fair and sustainable growth within the euro while leaving behind the memorandum era,” said Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis.
“If 12 MPs do not vote for the agreement and the government is left with 150 seats, elections will be called immediately,” said SYRIZA’s parliamentary spokesman Nikos Filis.
SYRIZA has 149 seats in the 300-member body and its partner the Independent Greeks have 13. Other rival parties, including To Potami, have said they would go along with a deal to get it passed if there’s a SYRIZA rebellion, but if enough leftists MPs revolt it could still split the party and lead to new elections.