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Greek Presidential Election: The Day After the 160 Votes

samaras-venizelosThe results of the first ballot in the presidential election left Prime Minister Antonis Samaras with a bitter taste. Predictions by the coalition that Stavros Dimas would get up to 167 votes in the first ballot proved to be overly optimistic.
Sources near the Greek premier say that Samaras is determined to stick to the coalition strategy on the presidential election and he doesn’t want to entertain the scenario of a compromise solution. After yesterday’s voting he said that there are two ballots left and a lot can change between now and the third ballot on December 29. He also said that he would prefer a clear solution to the political impasse, even if that means the need for snap elections.
A person close to the PM quoted him as saying, “If there is no president elected, we will go to elections on Januray 25,” according to Samaras also said that even if he set a date for general elections in a few months, the opposition would ask for elections sooner.
Government Vice President and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said that MPs should elect president so that Greece avoids general elections. He proposed the formation of a committee composed of members of all parties that will negotiate with the country’s creditors. He also said that Greece should take advantage of the two-month bailout program extension so that the move to a precautionary credit line will be smoother.
Samaras and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras are not willing to compromise and accept the proposed solution of an all-party emergency government. The PM insists on a “clear solution” and despite rumors that Stavros Dimas will choose not be on the third ballot and that he will be replaced by a more widely accepted person, he says that Dimas will be on the third ballot. “Mr. Dimas is accepted by the majority in the Greek society, as opinion polls show. We expect that to show in the next two ballots in parliament as well,” a source close to the prime minister said.

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