There is one last chance on December 29th and if they fail then it is three strikes and the parliament must declare fresh elections that Syriza may very well win.The elections would be held in January.
The IMF, European Commission, and European Central Bank may not agree to renegotiate the $293 billion bailout package, that Syriza refuses to accept. Unlike Yaroufakis many financial experts think that the Syriza program is irresponsible and unrealistic as well.
After the failed vote on Tuesday the Athens stock market main index fell two percent. Yields on Greek government bonds rose to 8.25 percent up from 7.8 percent a month ago.
The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was optimistic that he would be able to garner enough votes on the third try to elect a president and avoid an election since he had a better result for his candidate than on the first vote. The candidate Stavros Dimas won 168 votes in the 300 seat parliament. He needs 180 for election. Although he won 8 more than on the last vote, he still needs 12 more to be elected. There will be a furious lobbying push to garner the twelve votes over Xmas. Polls show that a majority of Greeks do not want snap elections. While Styriza still leads in the polls its lead has narrowed to a 3.4 point lead recently.
The UN also claims that Libya is facing acute shortages of both food and medicines. Envoy Leon said:
“All those suffering in this violence deserve to live in safety with their rights fully protected. I appeal to all Libyan political and military leaders to engage, as a matter of urgency, in a genuine political dialogue to take Libya out of the current crisis."
By January 7th we should know whether the UN has had any success this time in promoting dialogue and peace in Libya.
Later on the 18th, a number of countries met and rejected foreign intervention: Libya's struggling elected government and representatives of 15 neighbouring nations have unanimously rejected the idea of military intervention as a way to restore stability in the oil-rich North African nation, which some say is on the brink of civil war. Now the pendulum is moving back towards intervention.
No doubt western countries are anxious that Libyan neighbors, or at least some of them, initiate this request as it will give any intervention a patina of legitimacy. There is already evidence of intervention by Egypt and the UAE among others on the side of General Haftar.
The reaction of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) continues to be optimistic. The UNSMIL issued a statement saying in part: “The move by the parties to identify their respective delegations to the talks is a step in the right direction. In agreeing to take part in this dialogue, all the parties have clearly signaled their determination to spare no effort towards safeguarding Libya’s political transition and forging ahead with building a modern democratic state based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.” The statement claims that this move shows that all parties are committed to finding a peaceful political solution to the present military and political crisis in Libya.
The Mission will continue consulting with the parties in order to finalize details such as the place and time of the next meeting. Earlier talks in Ghadames in September achieved nothing. There is no reason to believe that these will be any more successful. The Tripoli government insists that its legitimacy must be recognized as a condition of dialogue. Prime minister Al-Thinni of the Tobruk government goes even further and demands that it be recognized as the sole legitimate government and that the Tripoli government in effect surrender: "Thinni laid down new conditions for talks with the rival government, asking the Tripoli administration to recognize the elected parliament first, the website said. Armed groups such as Dawn also had to withdraw from the capital." The statement did recognize the obvious fact that there are ongoing battles between the government forces led by Khalifa Haftar and anti-government militias including battles for oil ports in the east.
The statement said that the Mission was deeply alarmed by the escalation in fighting which it claims undermines the efforts to convene the dialogue. The dialogue has already been postponed from last week. The statement said:“All parties should desist from any action that obstructs the dialogue efforts and endangers the country’s economic lifeline. Libyan oil is a strategic asset that belongs to all the Libyan people, who deserve an opportunity for stability and prosperity.” Of course the statement fails to mention that these facilities are now guarded by the same militia and former rebels who had seized the ports and kept them out of production earlier for almost a year. They are now allied with the Tobruk government so everything is fine.
The statement also says that "those threatening Libya's peace, stability, or security, could be subject to sanctions". This does not mean that the Tobruk government or General Haftar will be subject to sanctions. If anyone is sanctioned it could be those leading some of the anti-government militia or representatives of the Tripoli government. The UNSMIL statement made no mention of the Libyan Supreme Court decision that the June elections were unconstitutional and the Tobruk government should be dissolved. No doubt they are still studying the decision since it was made on November 6. The international community and the press, for the most part, also conveniently ignore the ruling, although even Voice of America reported briefly on the event when it happened.