Tsipras: ‘No More Austerity in Greece as Long as I Am Prime Minister’



Alexis Tsipras inerview

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave an interview to Greek public broadcaster ERT in the late hours of Monday, talking about the upcoming referendum set to be held on July 5.

The referendum will ask Greeks to accept or reject the bailout package proposed by Greece’s creditors: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission.

Tsipras reiterated that Greece is still at the negotiating table and will be the following day of the referendum. He said that it was the Eurogroup who stopped negotiations by denying extension of the existing program to see how democracy responds.

The SYRIZA leader said it is his government’s right to decide directly through its people, referring to Ireland’s decision to hold a referendum, which voted down the Lisbon agreement.

“The creditors’ choice to not give a program extension to Greece was so that the European Central Bank does not finance the country, thus pushing people to vote in favor of the agreement,” Tsipras noted.

He admitted that he expected a different stance by European leaders toward the right of people to live with dignity, raising concerns about whether Europe is in the hands of people who can lead it to safety in turbulent times.

Greece’s Prime Minister also pointed out that the bigger the margin in Sunday’s vote, the greater Athens’ power to negotiate.

“I want to believe that the creditors will back down after a popular order is given to reject their proposal.” On the other hand, he noted that if Greek voters accept the agreement, his administration will respect this decision but added that he will not be the “Prime Minister of every outcome.”

Greece has to pay the IMF back debt payments worth $1.6 billion by Tuesday, June 30, 6 pm Eastern Time. Tsipras questioned the IMF’s expectation to receive a payment from Greece, when the country’s banks are being “suffocated.” The Prime Minister urged the IMF to accept Greece’s proposal so that it can pay the debt.

He said his administration will do everything it can to save the Greek people, including securing liquidity and abundance of all necessary products.

In his interview that lasted for more than 30 minutes, Tsipras went as far as saying that “the measures his administration proposed to the institutions would have recessionary effects” -something he and his party denounce- but added that they submitted them in hope of reaching an agreement. He therefore questioned the institutions’ rejection and introduction of more measures that are based on ideology rather than effectiveness.

In his view, “this rejection reveals the desire to bring down the hope that the Eurozone can change and to decrease the power of a leftist government that has pushed for change after all these years of plain austerity.”

The differences between the Greek side and the institutions in fiscal matters are small but the differences in every other area are very important, according to Tsipras who asked for a solution that is bearable and said his administration would accept it even at the last minute.

Although he confirmed that at that time there were no official talks being held with creditors, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered an unsatisfactory last minute deal to Greece after the PM’s interview.

“Greece is at the center and will remain at the center of Europe, and Europe will remain in Greece’s DNA,” he said.

Capital controls have been imposed in Greece since Sunday evening limiting daily withdrawals at 60 euros per account while Greek banks will not open until July 7.

Tsipras expressed his confidence that banks will reopen immediately after the ECB restores liquidity and this can happen immediately after an agreement.

Tsipras also told pensioners who are worried about their pensions that they should understand there would be further cuts in their pensions if the government acquiesces and accepts another Memorandum.

The Prime Minister also asserted that Greece has had, for the first time, a government that did what it promised, namely negotiating hard.

Concluding, Tsipras expressed his full support for Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who “fought” under tough circumstances and became a target as a result of his tough negotiating stance.


23 COMMENTS

  1. Tsipras is getting delusional. A no vote, no matter the margin, would just mean no bailout, no money and no agreement.

  2. ‘No More Austerity in Greece as Long as I Am Prime Minister’

    Shameless liar. Despite all his election promises to roll back cuts… cuts are still here (and more to come) All Tsipiras “accomplished” is take money from hospitals and schools and other essential services to fund unnecessary ERT for propaganda purposes.

    The communist has been successful at one thing. Feeding his genius far left extremist supporters the same cold war speeches that the Cuban and North Korea communists have been feeding their people for the last 50 years. Tspiras sounds like Tito and Greece is headed in the same direction as the former communist Yugoslavia… a state that no longer exists.

  3. once the yes vote is passed, what is this moron Tsipras going to do to get funds to pay for pensions? obviously all pensioners want to remain within the euro, but the EU/IMF will not give the funds to greece unless he implements reforms, and now he is saying he will not do that. Once people realize that he doesn’t have money to pay pensions, they will want to rip his head off

  4. Insane is defined as repeating the same thing (ND/PASOK) and expecting a different outcome. IF Syriza succeeds in negotiating better terms that will spell the end of these two post Junta Era political parties.

  5. No. Insane is claiming Samaras followed the policies of ND/Pasok of the last 40 years.

    “IF Syriza succeeds in negotiating better terms that will spell the end of these two post Junta Era political parties.”

    Ah. So you support the communists after all. There is no negotiation going on. Tsipiras effectively ended it when he called a referendum. Greece is about to enter yet another massive depression but this time is headed for failed state… thanks to the shameless far leftist whiners that supported Syriza.

  6. The communist finally revealed himself. Next he’ll want to get his fangs into everything and nationalize banks and whatever else he can. Good luck.

  7. The choice is in the hands of the voters is this not what democracy is supposed to be ,unlike the thieves who ran this country for 50 years and meekly accepted what the troika wanted. Greece is in a mess caused by miss management of ND and Pasok . I hope the vote is NO

  8. Wally according to you giving the right to the people to decide is a communist plot that has got be the biggest oxymoron I have ever heard or its a moron making an ox of himself
    Its called Democracy Willy oops Wally

  9. As Argentina shows, you cant just say “no payments” and expect that to be the end of it. If one day Greece will want to be back in international banking circuits, will have to find a deal with the creditors.

  10. Democracy is not to ask people’s opinion on a proposal they barely understand, incorrectly translated and finally no longer valid.
    This is not what I would call democracy, this is political trick-exit way from a government that has no long-term vision whatsoever for his country. Paratithite!

  11. I thought that so far everybody understood that there are only 2 options here and none is good. One way or another it’s going to be pretty bad for Greece and it’s people. If people vote “YES” then they’ll get harsh austerity measures imposed to them, which in my opinion a majority of Greek people can’t handle. In only 5 years of austerity, millions lost their jobs, young people didn’t find jobs and most live with their parents, surviving out of their elderly’s trimmed in half pensions. If the vote is “NO”, then Greece is going back to drachma which will be very weak and it will take years until it gains some considerable value again.
    So in both cases, Greek people are basically doomed.
    The difference between those two choices is that one will enslave the country for eternity, as they debt is rising instead of decreasing with the austerity measures. The pensions will be cut and even halted for years. Pensions which are so important at me moment because young, middle age and elderly people live out of this little money. I know quite a lot of families with little children .. surviving only because their elderly get a pension and share it with them.
    The other option, which is also very bad, has at least a hope that the country will stabilize after few years or hard and careful work.
    It is worthy to mention that I don’t live in Greece (although I am a greek). I live in Europe, so to me personally leaving EU and eurozone would be a bad option as I could be deported from the country I currently live. Although, objectively and considering everything that’s happening, I don’t see any kind of good happening in Greece’s future within eurozone. The drachma option at least has a tiny hope in the long run.
    But for the immediate future, things are bad no matter what’s the outcome of this referendum.

  12. There are both pros and cons to both sides of the equation. Regardless, the Greek economy is dead and needs a jump start just like a dead battery in a car. Austerity is not a “battery boost” it is basically scrapping the car for parts.

  13. Fortunately for the Greeks they understand if its yes its more of them same with no hope and a return to the thieves who miss managed this country for 50 years you on the other hand stick to your frappe and leave the conversation to the adults

  14. That is also what the drachma will do. The collections need to come from the rich who are avoiding tax. Everyone is taking about structural reform. This is collecting taxes.

  15. What a weirdo! The fact that people can only get 60 bucks at the ATM, that many couldn’t pay their rent, that many old people didn’t get their pension this months – that’s not dire austerity for him? He obviously doesn’t have a plan about how to magically create money, so how is he going to solve this problem? The state’s broke, the coffins are empty!

  16. Sadly, a yes vote doesn’t guarantee this, neither. Tsipras let the deadline pass, now it will be much more difficult to get support! Whole new negotiations will have to be started, and the lenders will insist on a different government at the table. Nobody trusts Tsipras anymore.

  17. No battery boost, or tank refill, will help you when the engine’s compression is down. Greece needs a total overhaul before a stimulus could help. Otherwise, that’s just a waste of money, and the lenders aren’t in a generous mood at all.

  18. ‘The fat lady hasn’t sung yet’. There are other options in this drama. These options have not yet been enunciated…

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