Last Update: 17:56
Greece’s Interior Minister Panos Skourletis on Monday called for the opposition to vote for the austerity measures creditors demand, with main opposition replying “no way.”
Skourletis spoke on RealFM radio arguing that since the measures required by the bailout program will apply from 2019 onwards, a wide parliamentary consensus is needed when they come to the House for vote.
The leftist minister claimed it is a “democratic imperative” for the measures to receive backing beyond the support of the 153 government lawmakers in the 300-member parliament.
Skourletis’ comments came after Greece and international creditors came at a standstill in talks over the bailout program review. He clarified it is his personal opinion, since other government officials express optimism that the coalition MP votes will be enough for the measures to pass.
Main opposition New Democracy rushed to reply that they will not vote for the measures: “Mr. Skourletis today asked the main opposition party to become essentially an accomplice in the government’s failure, inadequacy and heartlessness and vote for the new harsh measures in the House,” the official ND statement said.
“We advise him and Mr. Tsipras to not be anxious over our decision; New Democracy will vote against the new package of government measures. Everyone realizes that the government of Mr. Tsipras cannot pull the country out of crisis,” the statement continued.