There has been a distinct sense over recent weeks that the government has lost the appetite to see through the adjustment programme it has repeatedly argued is the only option for Greece to exit the crisis. The final troika review was meant to be wrapped up within a few weeks of the meetings in Paris in early September. However, as the review dragged on so it became apparent that the government did not have the political will (and perhaps the necessary votes in Parliament) to push things over the line. Each troika demand squeezed a little more life out of the coalition until it became clear that a new plan had to be devised.
At this point, Samaras made what was a deeply political calculation: He realised that passing the latest clutch of troika demands through Parliament would guarantee that his government had no chance of electing a president in February and would force it to go to national polls having only just approved a new round of unpopular measures. In these circumstances, bringing forward the presidential vote gave the coalition a slightly better chance of success or, if snap elections were not avoided, meant that a SYRIZA or SYRIZA-led government would be left with the task of closing out the troika negotiations.