After four months of intensive negotiations, Greece had submitted a proposal that could have been the basis for a sustainable and socially acceptable agreement, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told SYRIZA’s Parliamentary group on Tuesday.
Instead of a reply, the creditors responded with a five-page document that ignored the preceding negotiations, he added. He said the institutions were demanding high fiscal targets and refusing to accept the equivalent measures proposed by the Greek side.
“This insistence on a program of cuts that has failed and measures that cannot be accepted is not only wrong, it most likely serves political ends and a plan to humiliate not just the government but the Greek people,” he said. He also accused the previous New Democracy-PASOK government of setting up “a minefield” to sabotage the present government’s efforts.
“We knew that it would not be a walk in the park and that there would be no grace period for us. We threw ourselves into the battle when we were up against a minefield, from the previous government that was seeking a ‘left parenthesis’.”
In a brief review of the government’s work, the prime minister stressed that every decision was a great battle against the memorandum regime. “We intend to continue along these lines so that at the end of our four years we will dismantle the memorandum regime,” he said. Tsipras said the Greek side had repeatedly made clear that the agreement reached could not be a continuation of memorandum policies, of austerity and recession that brought only problems to the country.
Noting that the government would complete its fifth month in power within a few days, he said the party had faced an extremely difficult situation from the start and had managed to get the country to stand on its feet, in spite of the difficulties, taking measures to address the humanitarian crisis and to help those with overdue debts.