Political party leaders express support to Alexis Tsipras
In a joint communiqué, the leaders of the Greek political parties expressed their support to the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, shortly before his departure to Brussels.
The council of the political party leaders convened under President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos ended on Monday afternoon, after a seven-hour marathon session of talks. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made no statements as he left the presidential mansion and headed straight to the government headquarters in the Maximos Mansion.
The other party leaders at the meeting, in statements to reporters as they left, said they had agreed on the need for consensus andnegotiations with Greece's EU partners must continue in order to find a solution that will allow Greece to remain in the eurozone - with the exception of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
A joint announcement on the meeting's conclusions is to be issued later by the presidency.
The acting head of main opposition New Democracy Vaggelis Meimarakis, who will serve as the party's president in the wake of Antonis Samaras' resignation on Sunday until a new party leader is elected, said he had arrived with a "desire to reach understanding".
While criticising the government for not calling such a meeting long before and pointing out that the situation was now much worse than it had been 10 days ago, he said that all political leaderships "now have an obligation to contribute in order to achieve unity and have the calmness to encourage the government to bring an agreement that will have broader support."
Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, head of the smaller party in the ruling SYRIZA-ANEL coalition, said that a solution was the only way forward after the clear message sent by Greeks in Sunday's referendum.
"Shortly we will have a joint announcement signed by all the political leaders apart from the general secretary of KKE. This is a great day....when the sum of the political system apart from KKE give the prime minister the power to negotiate on behalf of the majority of the Greek people. It is up to Europe to find an immediate solution, with growth," he said.
Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis said that the responsibility for the negotiation now rested with the prime minister and that "we must all be united and the political leaders must be useful and not pleasant."
"Today there will be a joint announcement that will concern continuing the negotiations in order to reach an agreement on a programme and on economic growth," he said, adding that the discussion during the marathon meeting had concerned both the referendum and what the Greek side will aim for.
The announcement will also include a reference to the start of a discussion on the sustainability of Greece's debt, Theodorakis added, noting that this was the "last great effort to find a solution to the impasses."
PASOK party leader Fofi Gennimata also criticised the government for not launching such an initiative sooner but waiting until Greece's banks were closed and the country had no bailout umbrella. She said the negotiations must continue, with the government responsible for finding a solution that will keep the country within Europe and normalise social and economic life.
"The government has no mandate for a rupture, the people's sacrifices must be vindicated," she stressed.
KKE leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas distanced himself from the others, sticking fast to KKE's position against Greece's EU membership and saying there could be no negotiation in the interests of the people within the EU. He expressed disagreement with the announcement, saying no one had authorised anyone to sign new memorandums on behalf of the people.