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Greek PM facing tough sell at home

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 02:09

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has less than 48 hours to pass a series of pro-market reforms in parliament and smother dissent from hardliners within his own ranks as he races to meet the terms of an unpopular bailout deal. Ivor Bennett looks at the challenges he faces.

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In nearly 6 months at the centre of the crisis, he's barely even broken a sweat. But it seems Alexis Tsipras may finally be showing the strain. One German tabloid even speculating the Greek Prime Minister could resign. Having agreed a deal with creditors, he now faces the wrath of parliament and the public. But Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis insists Tsipras is going nowhere. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) SYRIZA PARTY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND INTERIOR MINISTER, NIKOS VOUTSIS, SAYING: "There is no issue of (losing) the parliamentary majority. We will see how it goes now. There is no chance that the prime minister will not be supported in his continued effort towards an agreement." The press though, and investors, are not so sure. European shares edging lower on Tuesday over uncertainty Tsipras can meet his deadline. He has less than 48 hours to pass the reforms he agreed to in Brussels. But dissent within his government is growing. Led by Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, head of Syriza's coalition partners the Independent Greeks. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) LEADER OF JUNIOR COALITION PARTNER INDEPENDENT GREEKS AND DEFENCE MINISTER, PANOS KAMMENOS, SAYING: "We're committed to voting only what we've agreed on in the meeting of political leaders. We're not voting other measures imposed by our european partners, measures which were imposed in violation of the agreement we made, only the measures voted on Friday." Among the new measures is the sell off of 50 billion euros worth of public sector assets. Unpopular with hardliners within Syriza too. One paper predicts as many as 40 rebels, meaning Tsipras will have to rely on opposition support. CIBC's Jeremy Stretch. SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY STRETCH, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, SAYING: "One would suspect that the Greek parliament would vote these measures through but only with opposition support and "I think that does suggest that the composition of the government will change relatively significantly post this particular vote. Is there a probability that the vote will fail? Well of course there is, and I think that is one of the reason why the euro has struggled somewhat in the wake of that deal yesterday." The tougher sell for Tsipras could be to the public. Many of his supporters see the deal as a betrayal - with hundreds gathering outside parliament on Monday in protest. Derailing a deal will be difficult but that hasn't stopped them trying. One union of civil servants preparing a 24-hour strike on Wednesday.

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Greek PM facing tough sell at home

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 02:09