Greek debt crisis: Rebel Popular Unity party make last ditch bid for power following split from Syriza

Chris Papadopoullos
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Popular Unity leader Panagiotis Lafazanis wants Greece to go back to using the drachma
A breakaway party of 25 MPs will take the opportunity to form a new Greek government today, but its leader Panagiotis Lafazanis acknowledges it will fail.

The Popular Unity party broke away from left-wing Syriza after its leader Alexis Tsipras resigned as Prime Minister.

Experts say the party will use the opportunity for publicity in the run up to the country’s snap elections. The new party is led by former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who wants to ditch the euro and return to the drachma.

“There is absolutely no ground for cooperation with any of the parties that have voted in favour of bailouts,” Lafazanis said on Saturday, in an admission that forming a new government was highly unlikely.

“If the new party is granted this opportunity, Lafazanis will no doubt use it to add legitimacy to the nascent political venture and to gain publicity ahead of the campaign,” said analysts at Greek consultancy Macropolis.

Popular Unity’s MPs left Syriza after the party went against its mandate and agreed to a bailout with the country’s creditors. Elections are expected at the end of September.

However, the smaller parties in parliament are allowed to take advantage of the constitutional procedure to spend three days trying to form a government.

If they do so, it could push elections back to October. The elections were triggered when Tsipras resigned last week.

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