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Greek Prime Minister Rejects National Unity Government, Sees Elections in 2019

tsipras-voul-708_1Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed his SYRIZA parliamentary group on Tuesday afternoon, issuing strong criticism against his political opposition and standing behind his government’s achievements thus far.
The Greek prime minster also ruled out the possibility of a national unity government and was adamant that the next elections will be held in autumn 2019, as scheduled. The SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government’s majority has already gone from 155 seats to 153 seats, just two above the required minimum, raising concerns about whether the government will be able to last for almost four more years.
“Governments in this land are put in power and are removed from power by the people,” he said.
Tsipras also criticized New Democracy for being unable to hold elections and to rise to the occasion as the country’s primary political opposition party. In his opinion, any political instability that exists in the country does not come from SYRIZA but the opposition.
The new agreement the Greek government struck with its international creditors on the conditions of foreclosures of primary residencies is a success according to Tsipras, as the Greek side succeeded in achieving an agreement that protects more than the 16% of debt owners as initially offered by the creditors.
Aside from the political opposition, the Greek media was also the target of the prime minister’s speech. Tsipras spoke of a corrupt media system that is against the government because it legislated a new law on the rules and regulations of media operations in October. This system is slowly fading away, the prime minister believes.
“It is dying because the law that brings justice to the media was passed and it growls because justice has begun looking into their loans,” he noted.
The Greek economy will shrink by significantly lower than the 2.5% that initially was expected, according to Tsipras, who argued that it is realistic to believe the country could return to growth in the second half of 2016. In the context of reduced government spending, the Greek prime minister pledged that his government will do all it can to not further slash pensions.

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