Early elections in Greece are “imperative” to maintain the country’s political stability as it begins to implement an unpopular third debt bailout, a minister said Monday. “Elections are imperative for purposes of political stability. Given the problems in the government’s (parliamentary) majority, the situation can be called anything but stable,” Energy Minister Panos Skourletis told Skai TV. A third of MPs from the ruling radical left party Syriza last week rebelled against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a vote on the three-year, 86-billion-euro ($96-billion) package, forcing him to rely on opposition parties to ratify it. “Such a major numeric loss of parliamentary majority is unprecedented,” said Skourletis, a former spokesman for Tsipras.
The party’s senior member of the European Parliament Dimitris Papadimoulis told the station that it was “likely and logical” that Tsipras would now call for a vote of confidence. But he added that he saw elections as “highly likely” in the coming months.
According to reports, Tsipras will decide whether to call a confidence vote after a scheduled European Central Bank bond repayment on August 20.
However, the main opposition parties that have so far helped Tsipras pass the reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors through parliament have indicated that they will not back him in a confidence vote.