Tsipras explores Potami’s banks for political ally

tsipras_theodorakisNew Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras extended his reach for would-be political allies on Monday hours after being sworn-in and ahead of a vote of confidence in Parliament.

Tsipras met on Monday afternoon with Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis, whose social democrat centrist party made its debut in general elections a day earlier, taking 6.1 percent of the vote and sending 17 deputies to Parliament.

“We’re ready to participate in a national committee to negotiate (the debt and bailout terms), and the prime minister himself wants this,” Theodorakis told waiting reporters after the meeting at SYRIZA’s headquarters. He qualified his statement by saying Potami — “River” in Greek — was not interested in assuming ministerial posts, but is considering a “vote of tolerance” for an upcoming SYRIZA government.

The one-time television presenter reiterated, that he waiting for clear indications over SYRIZA’s policies, particularly on issues dealing with European institutions. Theodorakis has insisted that he won’t support any policy or direction going against what he calls Greece’s European course. He also called on the new government to proceed with “radical” changes “without partisan political constraints”.

It’s Potami’s 17 deputies and their decision in a vote of confidence, or tolerance, that drew attention to the meeting, as Tsipras’ SYRIZA fell just short (150+0) of an absolute majority in the 300-seat Parliament.

The “clincher”, however, came earlier on Monday with a deal reached by Tsipras and Independent Greeks’ (AN.EL) leader Panos Kammenos. An agreement by the two politicians — on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum — ensured that 13 AN.EL MPs will provide a vote of confidence for a SYRIZA government – and land Kammenos in the defence minister’s fine wood-panelled office.


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