GREEK Prime Minister and leader of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Alexis Tsipras convened a meeting on Wednesday of SYRIZA’s 149 parliamentary deputies to defend his government’s decision to agree last Tuesday to a four-month extension of the hated austerity accords imposed by the troika of European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
The meeting, behind closed doors, lasted for over 11 hours with some 100 deputies speaking, a large number of whom stated that the austerity accords extension was a ‘retreat’ and ‘compromise’.
According to reports, SYRIZA’s leader Tsipras insisted on an informal vote on the austerity accords extension.
Only a handful of deputies voted against, but there were over 20 abstensions, while some 30 deputies walked out of the meeting and did not vote.
The leader of SYRIZA’s Left Platform, Panayiotis Lafazanis, the Development and Environment Minister, abstained.
If SYRIZA deputies vote the same way when the austerity accords extension is tabled on the Vouli (Greek parliament), then Tsipras will have to rely on the right-wing parties for ratification.
Over the coming weekend there will be meetings of SYRIZA’s Central Committee and of the Political Committee.
The first rally and demonstration against SYRIZA’s agreement with the EU to extension of austerity accords was set to take place yesterday evening in Athens.