Greece may have signed an initial agreement with its European partners, but not all parties involved appear optimistic about the country’s future. One of the less optimistic opinions was expressed by Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The Eurogroup chairman predicted that Greece and the creditors may face more problems in the future, due to the criticism that the new bailout program has received. Furthermore, he accused Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of making nice but false promises to the people that have complicated the negotiation process, while he also made it clear that he holds no sympathy for the Greek government.
In an interview with Dutch television’s Nieuwsuur, the Eurogroup chairman and Dutch finance minister added that Greece tested Europe’s patience and understanding, while stressing that the Greek government and Alexis Tsipras’s tactics strained the situation.
“You have to realize that if we’d held referendums in the other 18 countries on whether we should give more money to Greece, the result would have been much more striking and more negative than the 60 percent who voted in Greece,” he said.
“I was angry because of the beautiful promises made to the Greek population that weren’t true. You can’t promise things that you can’t bring about,” Mr Dijsselbloem was quoted as saying.
Referring to the agreement, he admitted that it poses many difficulties for the Greek government, but he stressed that Greece’s economy will become stronger after the implementation of new tougher measures. “I have no sympathy for the Greek government, but I have sympathy for the people of Greece,” he added. “It is not a punishment. It is an attempt to rebuild the country, to pay their taxes,” he said.