Greek Snap Election Confusion; Tsipras’ Questionable Gamble; Unwieldy Coalition Coming Up?

Courtesy of Mish.

Questionable Gamble

In the wake of reneging on major election promises, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras resigned and called for snap elections. He did so out of fear of losing a vote of confidence that would have forced the same result down the road.

In addition, Tsipras wanted the vote out of the way before further rounds of pension cuts and tax hikes took their toll on the economy.

His gamble now appears questionable.

Please consider Alexis Tsipras Rallies Supporters as Syriza Takes Knock in Polls.

Alexis Tsipras tried to rally Syriza party members behind him at the weekend in advance of a snap election, as opinion polls reflected deepening disappointment among voters with his government’s record.

His message to the weekend meeting was undermined by infighting among senior party officials, reflecting Syriza’s disarray in the wake of mass defections last week to Popular Unity, a new radical party led by the former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, according to people who were present at the event on Saturday.

In another blow to the Syriza leader’s authority, a usually loyal party faction known as the “Group of 53”, which includes several former cabinet ministers, circulated a document at the meeting sharply criticising the premier’s decision last month to make a policy “somersault” and agree to a third rescue package totalling €86bn after months of tense negotiations.

“We need to come up with a persuasive alternative plan . . . that will lead us out of the memorandum [bailout agreement],” the document said.

More than 50 members of Syriza’s central committee and 27 of its MPs, including a former deputy finance minister, have switched to Popular Unity, which is campaigning on a defiant platform that calls for a voluntary exit from the eurozone and the re-adoption of the drachma.

“Re-adopting the drachma is not a catastrophe. . . There are plenty of European countries doing well that are not members of the eurozone,” Mr Lafazanis said at the weekend.

However, Syriza is still expected to win the election by a narrow margin, according to six opinion polls published over the weekend….

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