Friday 19 January 2018

Greece crisis: EU/IMF hard stance may force early elections- minister

Greece still has a chance to access €1.2bn allocated to banks
Greece still has a chance to access €1.2bn allocated to banks

Greece's leftist-led government may call early elections if the country's international lenders do not soften their terms for a cash-for-reforms deal, Deputy Social Security Minister Dimitris Stratoulis, a hardliner in the government, said on Friday.

And a new opinion poll found that while 37pc of Greeks favoured elections, 45pc would prefer a compromise deal with lenders.

"The lenders want to impose hard measures. If they do not back down from this package of blackmail the government ... will have to seek alternative solutions, elections," he said.

Stratoulis is closer to the far-left faction of the ruling Syriza party, and it was not unclear if the statement represented a wider view within the party. But it underlined the deep anger at the proposal from lenders and a growing sense that the party will seek alternatives to avoid accepting the plan.


Greece delayed a key debt payment to the International Monetary Fund due on Friday as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, facing fury among his leftist supporters, demanded changes to tough terms from international creditors for aid to stave off default.

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