Greek PM: Early elections unlikely despite weakening Syriza support
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras does not intend to announce early elections in Greece before an agreement with the creditors is reached, a cabinet source told RIA Novosti.
The source quoted Tsipras as saying on Thursday that support of the left-wing government is weak but the prime minister is set on continuing working with it until Athens concludes a deal on a third bailout with the Brussels Group.
According to RIA Novosti sources, Tsipras is nonetheless expected to shake up his administration after 32 lawmakers from the ruling Syriza party voted against austerity measures required by the creditors in order for Greece to receive more financial aid. Of the 149 Syriza lawmakers, six abstained from the vote held on Wednesday night, while one person did not show up at all.
Greek Deputy Defence Minister Kostas Isychos and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis announced their readiness to resign after the vote.
The 229-64 tally secured the majority needed for the austerity measures to be approved by the Greek Parliament, but threw up cracks in Tsipras' ruling party, prompting speculation of an imminent cabinet reshuffle.
Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis signalled that the differences over the last austerity conditions may trigger elections this fall, either in September or October.
Eurozone leaders reached an agreement on a third bailout package for Greece on Monday. Under the deal, Greece will get $95 billion over the next three years, provided that the Greek parliament approves unpopular austerity measures, including pension cuts and tax increases.