Greek MPs are gearing up for a third and final vote in their bid to elect a president.
If that ballot also fails, it will trigger a general election and could usher in the left wing Syriza party, which wants to renegotiate the Greek bailout.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned that the third round would be even harder, as parliamentarians will be held accountable for their vote.
“I sincerely hope that in the last ballot we will be able to avoid a national hazard, a national misadventure,” he told journalists outside parliament on Tuesday.
“The third voting round is not going to be about voting “present”, as there would be no “present” vote. Each vote will have a name and a surname in it.”
Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza party, vowed to block the vote. “Neither this parliament, nor the Greek people are going to sign a blank cheque to Mr. Samaras in order to let him carry on with the austerity measures that cut down on pensions and health services and ravage Greek society,” he said.
Greek citizens have been living through the country’s worse economic crisis in decades and say they’re tired of politics. Anna Soufli was out shopping at Athens’ largest meat market earlier today.
“It’s a game that they play to fool the people. We do not have, here look, I only got half a kilo of mince meat. What good will the elections do? They are gathering money for themselves, to be safe, to send it out of the country for their own future”.
After today’s second fruitless vote, the Greek deputies will return to parliament once again next Monday for the third and final vote. There they will be presented with a clear political choice, either to elect a new president or take the country to the polls.