ATHENS – Leading in polls as critical elections loom, the confident major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) said it won’t work with other parties to form a government if it wins.
Although SYRIZA has only a 3.1 percent lead over the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and is unlikely to win a majority in Parliament if it prevails, party spokesman Panagiotis Lafazanis said it won’t work with rivals.
Lafazanis said SYRIZA will not accept a co-operation with the fast-fading PASOK Socialists who are in the current coalition government, nor with the rising To Potami (The River) party or former PASOK leader and previous Premier George Papandreou’s new Democratic Socialists.
In an interview with ANA-MPA webTV, he said that those parties “move in the same direction and are on the same course. What they want is a second round of memorandum catastrophe, worse than the first one, for the country,” referring to the deals New Democracy and PASOK signed with international lenders.
SYRIZA is opposed to the big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions, worker firings and privatization that came with 240 billion euros ($306 billion) in two bailouts from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).
Lafazanis ridiculed Papandreou, who was hounded out of office in 2011 after serving only two years, facing relentless protests, strikes and riots.
“It is pathetic that Mr. Papandreou wants again to save the country. He saved it once, a second one is not necessary. Enough with the disaster. The fact that he announced the formation of a political party seems like an anecdote or a farce. We believe that the Greek people will turn their back to him,” he said.
According to Lafazanis, “at this time the only alternative is SYRIZA that addresses to all the people and to all the citizens. It can create a new popular unity with optimism and hope for a future of recovery and reconstruction.”
He added: “We are certain that SYRIZA will succeed a major victory that will secure the parliamentary majority for a progressive reversal in Greece so that the Troika and the memoranda will become a past thing for good and a new progressive way of recovery and reconstruction will open for the country. This is the certainty with which we move towards the general elections. The Greek people understand our message and will support it with determination and sweeping majority.”