With just two days left for one of Greece’s most significant and contentious moments, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras once again urged Greeks to vote “No” on Sunday’s referendum and called on them to remain united throughout adversary.
Tsipras gave a televised speech on Friday in which he reiterated that a “No” vote will give Greece a stronger negotiating position and will not cause a rift with Europe as many argue.
The Greek Prime Minister also capitalized on the preliminary International Monetary Fund analysis released on Thursday to justify the government’s tactics in the negotiations with the institutions.
The report had found that the Greek debt is unsustainable and that even with further funding of 50 billion, a 30% debt “haircut” would be required. Beyond that, the report suggested that Greece be given a 20-year grace period on debt payments.
The IMF’s finding of an unsustainable debt does major justice to the Greek government as it confirms the obvious reality.
“This position was never presented to the Greek government in these five months by the creditors we have been negotiating. It was also absent from the institutions’ final proposal, that the Greek people are being called to accept or reject on Sunday,” he said. “The International Monetary Fund report justifies our choice to reject a deal that circumvents this highly important matter of the debt. In a few words, the primary inspirator of the Memorandum confirms the accuracy of our estimation that the deal given to us does not lead to a sustainable solution from the crisis.”
Tsipras’ speech was about Greek unity as much as it was about the IMF report. With opinion seemingly divided, the Premier encouraged Greeks to avoid divisions, insisting that whatever the outcome on Sunday, Greeks will be united on Monday.
“I call on you to vote ‘No’ to ultimatums, to intimidation, to the fear campaign. However, I also call on you to say ‘No’ to division,” he said. “‘No’ to those who are trying to spread panic and prevent you from deciding with composure and responsibility for your own future. I call on you to decide for dignity and democracy. For a standing and proud Greece in a democratic and united Europe.”