The country is in urgent need for an immediate general election, the leader of the country’s main opposition party, New Democracy, has said. “Elections are a national necessity,” Antonis Samaras told reporters after meeting the President Karolos Papoulias.
The meeting was called after Monday night’s announcement by Prime Minister George Papandreou that he intends to hold a referendum on the new loan agreement for Greece agreed at a eurozone summit last week. “Mr Papandreou, in his effort to save himself, set a divisive dilemma, an extortionate dilemma, that puts in danger our future and our position in Europe,” Samaras said. He noted that he explained to the president that “New Democracy is determined to avert at any cost such opportunistic experiments”.
“And it can do it,” he added.
“At this moment, we are not just facing a request for elections. At this moment, elections are a national necessity. Everyone has to assume his responsibilities and perform his duty,” Samaras concluded.
At noon, heading into his audience with the president, Samaras spoke of a “historic duty to do, in every way, whatever is necessary so that the country’s European prospect and future will not turn into a misadventure”.He also said it is very important that “these plans that exist will not find accomplices, at least not in our party”.
Earlier today, Yiannis Vroutsis, one of New Democracy’s shadow finance ministers, predicted that the referendum will produce a “no” vote.“Whenever he calls the referendum he [Papandreou] should know that the Greek people will stand against him and that his movement will be disapproved,” Vroutsis said in a statement. “Fools are invincible”, New Democracy policy strategy secretary Evripidis Stylianidis said in a radio interview, referring to the prime minister.