It seems that Mr. Tsipras will continue having much of Europe on the run while he hardly seems to be breaking a sweat. Presenting his party’s economic program on Friday, Alexis Tsipras head of Greece’s Radical Left Coalition, said he would pursue to cancel the bailout terms, which have included brutal spending cuts and high taxes and have been blamed for the country’s extended recession.
“The first act of a government of the left, as soon as the new Parliament is sworn in, will be a cancellation of the bailout and its implementation laws,” Tsipras stated.”Let people know that in Greece there is still a democracy.”
Alexis Tsipras said the bailout agreement is a failure that will force Greece to leave the Euro, despite EU leaders insisting that Greece must stick to its commitments or the money will stop coming in. According to Tsipras, the bailout agreement “is a mechanism of definitive bankruptcy and pushing the country to a voluntary withdrawal from the eurozone…There is no more or less bad memorandum, you either apply it, or you cancel it….We will cancel it.”
Tsipras said that if he wins enough votes to form a leftwing government, he will seek a Europe-wide deal to drastically reduce the debt payments, or seek a debt moratorium. He also said that he will cancel the law to cut the minimum wage by 22% and bring it back to 751 euros.
Tsipras also said that he would keep strategic companies like the companies that provide electricity, water, and telecommunications under state control and freeze wage and pension cuts demanded by lenders if he won the June 17 elections. He also said he intends to create measures to help overborrowed Greek households and cut valued added tax (VAT), especially on basic food items like milk and bread. While Tsipras has repeatedly stated that “Our goal isn’t to blackmail or to terrorize, our goal is to shake them,” it is certain that both the EU and the IMF officials will feel terrorized with his latest statements.
Tsipras’ party came from nowhere to finish a strong second in the inconclusive election on May 6. As Greece prepares for a second poll on June 17, Tsipras is within a percentage point or two of first place, according to recent surveys.For the past two weeks, Tsipras has engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken with Europe’s leaders, and Ms. Merkel in particular. A victory for Tsipras next month will start a game of bluff between Tsipras – the neophyte – and Merkel – the veteran that will decide the euro’s future. Let’s just hope he knows what he’s doing.