Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras wants to win a parliamentary majority in next year's election so he can easily change policies agreed for Greece's bailout in favour of growth-promoting measures, he told a magazine.
Samaras's New Democracy party is leading opinion polls to win the election, which is tentatively scheduled for February 19 when a national unity government led by former ECB vice president Lucas Papademos is scheduled to wind down.
Papademos's cabinet has won the tentative support of New Democracy to implement austerity measures to unblock the first tranche of a 130 billion euro (111 billion pounds) package in financial aid to rescue the Greek economy from bankruptcy.
But Samaras, who has angered the international community since the start of the crisis and deepened Greece's debt woes by refusing to commit to reforms prescribed by Athens' rescue lenders, said he would change those policies if he took power.
We are working towards an absolute majority to implement our programme without delay and procrastination, Samaras said in an interview in the magazine Epikera published on Thursday.
When we can, we will change all that needs to be changed. But to do that, we will need a strong mandate in the coming elections.
Opinion polls so far show that New Democracy would win the election but fall short of an absolute majority in the country's 300-seat parliament.
The interview did little to indicate that his opposition to reform measures prescribed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund had changed.
New Democracy said earlier it would only support tax rises, wage and spending cuts that have been approved by the country's former Socialist administration but would block future measures.
Along with the Socialist Party of former prime minister George Papandreou and the far-right LAOS party, New Democracy supported Papademos's unity government in a confidence vote on Wednesday but he has made clear it must only be a transitional government that will lead to a new election.
He also ruled out working with other political parties after the election, citing wrangling with his rivals over who would lead the interim coalition last week that pushed Greece to the brink and raised questions about its future in the euro zone.
We went through such labours for a three-month transitional government, imagine if we had to agree on a government for a longer term, Samaras said. That's why I'm telling you an absolute majority is the only solution.
Samaras has proposed a new platform of tax cuts and privatisations, in opposition to the EU/IMF-prescribed belt-tightening that has helped to plunge Greece into its longest recession since World War Two, and says only measures that stimulate growth can ensure balanced budgets.
There will be plenty of opportunities to seek and discuss changes to the policy mix. That's what Europe has always done, Samaras said.
Samaras also repeated that he would not bow to EU demands that he co-sign a letter giving written pledges that Greece and its political leaders subscribe to a bailout deal agreed by the EU on October 26.
I have repeatedly said: I will not sign such statements, he was quoted as saying by the magazine.
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; editing by Elizabeth Piper)