- Title: GREECE-VOTE/SAMARAS Greek Prime Minister announces elections for January 25
- Date: 29th December 2014
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (DECEMBER 29, 2014) (REUTERS) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIS SAMARAS, ARRIVING AT PARLIAMENT AND ENTERING PARLIAMENT
- Embargoed: 13th January 2015 12:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA89PQXSEE7S22R4UWQ0GLN2CF0
- Story Text: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called on Monday (December 29), for elections to be held on January 25, after lawmakers failed to elect a new President in a final round of voting.
"Tomorrow I will visit the President of the republic, and I will ask as the constitution dictates for the dissolvement of parliament and call elections as soon as possible, on Sunday January 25. Greece does not have time to lose," Samaras said in a televised address.
He called on the Greek public to support him in the upcoming election to ensure stability in the country.
"I sympathise with the anxiety of every Greek citizen, and I am here to guarantee the safe course of the country. Since the beginning our task was very difficult, we came very close to completely exiting the crisis. I am here to guarantee that the country will sail into safe and stable ports," he said.
Samaras criticized lawmakers who voted against a new President, saying they brought on early elections that the public did not want.
"All those who voted 'against' hold full responsibility for a development that the Greek people did not want. What parliament failed to do the Greek people will now do; to rid us of uncertainty and re-establish stability in the country, to remain on a steady course of reform, and to exit the crisis and bailout once and for all," he said.
An early election could derail the international bailout programme Greece needs to keep paying its bills.
The only candidate in the race for President, former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, fell short of the 180 votes needed in parliament to become President, scoring only 168 votes.
Under Greek law, a parliamentary election must now be called, leaving financial markets and Greece's European Union (EU) partners facing weeks of uncertainty that could undermine fragile signs of economic recovery and derail its public finances.
The radical leftist Syriza party, which wants to tear up Greece's bailout agreement with the EU and International Monetary Fund and wipe off a big part of its debt, has held a steady lead in opinion polls for months, although its advantage has narrowed in recent weeks.
Divisions among potential post-election coalition partners for both Syriza and Samaras' conservative New Democracy party have also complicated the outlook, increasing the risk that any new government would be short-lived.
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