Greece is heading for elections early in the New Year after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed in his third and final attempt to persuade parliament to back his candidate for president.
Government candidate Stavros Dimas failed to gather the 180 votes needed as 168 MPs voted for him. It was exactly the same number as in the second ballot on December 23. Under the constitution, the legislature will now be dissolved and a date for elections set within the next 10 days.
The elites in Brussels will now begin their full throttle fear mongering campaign against Greece.
Dimas gained 168 votes in the second round, leaving the coalition looking for 12 more MPs to back the ex-EU Commissioner. However, it appears that the government will not be able to meet this target.
Nine of the 25 independent lawmakers have insisted they will not support Dimas, meaning that the government needs to gain votes from Democratic Left (DIMAR), which has nine MPs, and Independent Greeks, which has 12 lawmakers. So far, both parties have insisted they will not vote with the government.
If Dimas is not elected in the roll call vote, Parliament has to be dissolved within 10 days and snap elections called within the following 30 days. The most likely date for the early general elections would be January 25 or February 1.