Ex-Greek PM rejects ‘unnatural’ coalition

Athens, Sep 15 (IANS) Former Greek prime minister and leader of left-wing Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, has ruled out forming a coalition with his main rival if he wins Sunday’s election, the media reported on Tuesday.

Speaking during a debate with centre-right New Democracy leader Vangelis Meimarakis, Tsipras said such a unity government would be “unnatural”, BBC reported.

The debate was billed as a chance to win over crucial undecided voters, with both parties drawing 31.6 percent in a recent poll conducted by ANT1 TV.

The debate, hosted by state broadcaster ERT, Meimarakis said Greeks wanted the stability that only a grand coalition could bring.

“We can have a national team not only in the governance of the country, but also a national negotiating team (for Greece’s bailout),” he said.

But Tsipras replied that the two had “fundamental differences” and so a unity government would not be possible.

Tsipras won power earlier this year pledging to end austerity, but was instead forced to accept a rescue package that included more cuts.

He has said he wants to continue to fight against poverty and corruption, while Meimarakis has accused him of wrecking the economy while in power.

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