Tsipras Calls For Greek Debt Cut

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he won't pay the Troika without a debt cut
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he won’t pay the Troika without a debt cut

Greece’s main opposition leader is certain his party will be in power next year and his first order of a business will be to seek a cut in the $325 billion it owes international lenders. If that fails, SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras said, Greece won’t pay and will walk away from the debt.

Speaking to the Sunday edition of To Vima, and essentially repeating what he recently said, Tsipras said Greece’s debt is unsustainable despite two bailouts of $325 billion from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) that has failed to make a dent in the $430 billion it owes.

Those loans came with attached harsh austerity measures that have worsened a seven-year recession and created record unemployment and deep poverty.

The coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, and his partner, the PASOK Socialists, also said they want a debt cut even though the Premier said the economy this year will start to recover as the loans run out.

The crisis was, in large part, caused by alternating administrations of New Democracy and PASOK hiring hundreds of thousands of needless workers in return for votes but despite often violent protests over the past two years against them, they remain the rulers of Greece although PASOK’s popularity has plummeted and New Democracy is now behind SYRIZA in polls.

The present coalition government of conservatives and socialists could collapse this year if SYRIZA wins the May European election by a big margin, Tsipras said. That comes at the same time as municipal elections in Greece with signs showing the Leftists making big gains because of its opposition to the pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions imposed by the government.

Tsipras, the European Left’s candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, pledges to keep Greece in the Eurozone and says he doesn’t seek special treatment for Greece. He adds, though, that if Greece’s Eurozone partners don’t agree on further cutting the country’s debt, he will unilaterally stop servicing it.

Since the Troika has already warned that reneging on the loans would force Greece out of the Eurozone, Tsipras hasn’t explained the contradiction of how he would stop paying but still keep Greece in the financial bloc if the other 17 countries kick him out. He also hasn’t offered any solution as to how he would finance the government that is also locked out of private markets.

The debt cutting negotiations will be the subject of an emergency EU summit that Tsipras will demand if SYRIZA, forms a government.

“This summit will not be the end of the crisis. But it will be the start of a well-planned, level-headed but also tough negotiation in which we will make the demands,” he said, without offering any details.

Asked what would be his trump card in the negotiations, Tsipras replied: “Europe knows Greece is the powerful energy partner of the year 2020,” referring to prospects for significant gas and oil finds in the Eastern Mediterranean, still at a stage of early exploration.

On the domestic front, Tsipras said he expects his party to have a majority in Parliament, but said his government would include technocrats from outside the party. He said his would be a left-leaning government but added that his party would also represent a more conservative part of the electorate that has been disappointed in the governing conservatives and socialists.


  • Polycrates

    In the photo above Tsipras’ right arm is raised in salute. Does this suggest a sudden change in attitude or appealing to a future coalition partner?
    After so many occasions there still is no one that has challenged his positions or asked his inner circle for an explanation how the country would be managed after Greece leaves the EZ?

  • MSMlies

    LOL! If your suggesting that SYRIZA will join Golden Dawn, then ofcourse this will NEVER happen. I appreciate the humour though. A coalition between a dominant SYRIZA and a weak New Democracy (in order to keep Golden Dawn out of power) is very likely. Samaras and Tsipras Jewish bosses will order them to form a coalition in a desperate last ditch attempt to stop Golden Dawn from governing Greece. It will only work as a temporary delaying tactic however. Once in power SYRIZA will drag Greece further into ruin, it will collapse and then Golden Dawn will sweep into power in a landslide of popular support. Golden Dawn is already leading in the polls in Greece’s most popular region of Attica! Golden Dawn candidate Ilias Panagiotaros is coming first with 24%.
    http://xaameriki.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/wpid-akropolis-dimoskopisis.jpg

  • Polycrates

    I still am trying to sort out why SYRIZA did not always vote in nearly lockstep agreement with ND if they see this as a means to form a coalition.

  • TediUSA

    Tsypras will walk away from servicing debt…..I HOPE HE DOES,we all need cheap vacation in Greece in Drachmas!I am rooting for him!

  • Polycrates

    The exchange rate charges going from Euros to Geuros to Eurachmas to Drachmas will wipe out the savings. Suggest barter system and it’s tax free.

  • TediUSA

    I don’t care about the exchange rate.The current prices in Greece are rip off and we will not visit,ever, before prices are corrected to reasonable level.Oh,I can afford it by the way,but I hate to be ripped off by crooks.

  • Polycrates

    According to projections 18 million tourists are expected in 2014. I would not categorize the experience as ripped off by crooks unless one travels to those locals. The trick for tourism is after seeing high season tourist prices inflated by VAT, will they return again in our lifetimes. Greece on a shoestring budget died in 1974 and was buried face down with full regionalism honours when it joined the EZ.

  • TediUSA

    Unless the prices in Greece are brought down at least on a par with prices here in the US,sorry,I don’t intend on visiting.Everything else is just enriching the already rich Greek population at other people’s expense