Since the beginning of the week, President of the Republic Carlos Papoulias has been giving and receiving the mandate to form a government in Greece. The result is that the country has no government yet.
Today, the leader of the radical left Alexis Tsipras returned the mandate after failing to form a government of pro-European left forces against the Memorandum. Now is the turn of the third party in terms of number of votes received - PASOK, led by Evangelos Venizelos, to have a go at it. "People called for a change in the course, but did not order its direction. A government of cooperation was requested. Nobody can continue alone," said Venizelos upon receipt of the mandate. He continues to insist on a government of national accord between PASOK, New Democracy and the Democratic Left - the three forces firmly supporting the country's European future. Venizelos met with the leader of centre-left Democratic Left Fotis Kouvelis at 6 pm on Thursday.
After visiting the office of Venizelos, Fotis Kouvelis made a formal statement, in which he set two main objectives to support the new coalition government. He insisted that Greece must remain within the euro, but has to gradually leave the Memorandum. According to him, the term of the government that would be formed now should be until 2014, when next European elections will be held. "Only a government that enjoys broad public support can benefit from a more favourable European environment in order to achieve positive results after systematic and hard negotiations." Kouvelis stressed that he was fighting for nothing more than to help Greece to emerge from the current crisis, thus trying to refute the rumours that he was ready to make serious compromises in the name of the title "prime minister". According to local political analysts, Fotis Kouvelis would like to become prime minister only in a government coalition with SYRIZA . Given that the picture will not involve the radical left from which Kouvelis comes, he is not willing to lead a government consisitng mainly of PASOK and New Democracy members. The PASOK leader, in turn, said that Fotis Kouvelis’ ideas for the future of Greece are extremely close to the programme of the socialist party.
Evangelos Venizelos said he would meet first with the pro-European oriented parties and then, he would have talks with the leaders of the anti-memorandum front. The leader of Independent Greeks Panos Kamenos, who disaffiliated with New Democracy because he wanted Greece to cancel the contract for financial assistance, has refused to meet with Venizelos. "In international law, it is possible to cancel a contract, which is considered unacceptable," said Kamenos to Real FM and continued, "First, we will form a committee to evaluate the status of the external debt and then, we will institute legal proceedings to cancel both the Memorandums of financial assistance."
On Friday morning, Evangelos Venizelos will meet with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras.