On Thursday afternoon, the Greek government said that a supposed interview that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave to German newspaper Neues Deutschland, never took place.
As a government announcement clarifies, the Greek version of German newspaper Deutsche Welle, which had first reported the alleged interview, has now corrected its article to point out that Neues Deutschland was simply reporting on an interview Tsipras had given to Greek radio station “Sto Kokkino” last week.
Neues Deutschland reports that during his “Sto Kokkino” interview, Tsipras addressed the July 5 referendum, in which Greeks turned down a proposed cash-for-reforms deal by international creditors, and the resemblance of that proposal to the preliminary bailout deal he verbally agreed to with Greece’s creditors a week later.
“The referendum question had two parts. The first part concerned the measures they were asking in the past and the second concerned the financing plan. To be honest, and to not beautify the situation, the agreement that followed the referendum, at least as far as the first part is concerned, looks like the one the Greek people rejected,” the prime minister said.
However, Tsipras emphasized the major difference in the second part, as creditors offered 83 billion euros over three years after the referendum as opposed to 10.5 billion euros over five months before the referendum.
One of the main lines of criticism drawn against Tsipras is that his government has not fulfilled many of its promises and has abandoned its anti-bailout stance.
“Before the elections I never said that the memoranda could be annulled with just one law,” he said on his pre-election rhetoric. “Nobody said that. We never promised the Greek people a walk in the park. That is the reason why they have knowledge of the difficulties, which we faced and which citizens themselves face so calmly”.
Tsipras also claimed that his government has implemented significant pre-election commitments like dealing with the humanitarian crisis, hiring back cleaners and school guards as well as reopening the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation.
Overall the Greek prime minister believes Greece’s international creditors recorded a “Pyrrhic victory,” while Greece and its left government left with a “moral victory” after the 17 hours of negotiations on July 12-13.