Heard in Europe

For two months now, intense rumours have been circulating in Athens that Dimitris Avramopoulos, the current Greek Commissioner, intends to quit the European Commission and run for the Presidency of Greece.

Avramopoulos was proposed by the centre-right New Democracy, which was recently defeated by leftist Syriza in national elections. Nevertheless, many claim that he has made a deal with the newly-elected Syriza government to be Greece’s next President.

The non-election of a President in Greece resulted in snap elections, in which Syriza won its mandate.

Why?

The newly elected government in Athens will soon propose a new President to be voted on by the new Syriza-dominated parliament. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has said that he will seek the wider possible “consensus” regarding the political personality he’ll propose, hinting at the possibility of they’re not being a party member.

At the same time, during the intensely polarized election campaign, Avramopoulos made a serious intervention. While his party, New Democracy, based its campaign on the fact that EU rules should be strictly followed, Avramopoulos emphasised that “budget flexibility” is needed, especially for southern Europe, pleasing Syriza.

A good deal for all

Such a move should satisfy everybody. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras gets rid of a possible internal rival. After the election defeat, it’s just a matter of time being questioned as a party leader, and Syriza will be able to demonstrate national cohesion and consensus.

Syriza also wants a party member in the College of Commissioners, in terms of the upcoming debt restructuring negotiations. The question is who is going to replace him.

Giannis Milios is a possible candidate. Despite being a leading figure in Syriza, he decided not to run in the general election. Syriza MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis is said to wants the post.

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