File Photo: The political leaders’ televised debate will finally not take place. ANA – MPA
The political leaders’ televised debate before the elections on July 7 will finally not take place , as the political parties involved were unable to agree on the day.
Initially, it had been agreed that the debate would be held on July 1, between the leaders of the political parties in parliament.
The parties then discussed the possibility of an alternative date for the debate but they could not reach an agreement.
Following the announcement, SYRIZA’s spokesperson Effie Achtsioglou said that, rather than cancel the debate entirely, the prime minister was willing to attend on July 1 “even if he needs to be transported directly from the airport to the studio”.
“Following developments for an extraordinary summit on July 1, SYRIZA had requested that the date of the political leaders’ debate be transferred to any date other than that, in order for the prime minister to participate. In the current cross-party committee, various parties used pretexts to prevent finding a date other than July 1 so that this crucial debate for comparing party programmes will not finally be held,” she added.
The head of ND’s press office Constantinos Zoulas, in a statement after the conclusion of the cross-party committee meeting that ended in an impasse, blamed SYRIZA for the cancellation of the debate, saying it was “clearly responsible” as all the parties had agreed that the debate be held on July 1.
Movement for Change (Kinima Allagis, KINAL) representative to the cross-party committee Manolis Othonas also blamed SYRIZA for the cancellation of the debate.
It was thus confirmed that Tsipras never wanted to take part in a debate with all the political party leaders, said Othonas.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) also refused, noting that it had already twice rescheduled its main rally.
It also explained that “when it was became known that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would have difficulty attending the debate on July 1 due to the EU Summit, we discussed alternative dates, such as the June 28 or July 2. We rescheduled our campaign rally in Thessaloniki for July 1, to leave these dates open”.
The Centrists’ Union expressed its sorrow over the cancellation of the political leaders’ TV debate and blamed the top three parties for the deadlock. “Clearly, they want elections [decided by] money, TV ads and propaganda and not dialogue to inform the people,” said the party’s announcement.