Will Greece’s Tsipras Finally Wear a Tie?



Former Italian PM Matteo Renzi offers a tie to Alexis Tsipras in 2015

The Greek government is preparing an event on Friday evening to celebrate the agreement reached by Eurozone ministers on debt relief and a cash payout, paving the way for the country’s bailout exit in two months’ time.

Reports suggest that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the cabinet and the ruling coalition’s lawmakers will gather at 7.30 p.m. local time (1630GMT) at the Zappeion building near the Greek parliament to hear speeches signaling the end of the bailout era.

Greek media report that Tsipras may also make a TV address later in the evening. They also speculate on whether he will at last wear a necktie.

In 2015, shortly before he became prime minister, reporters asked Tsipras whether the responsibilities of his new post would lead him to adopt a more formal dress etiquette.

Tsipras – who until then wore casual shirts and roll necks – replied that he would put on a tie “only when (Greece’s) debt is cut”.

Under the agreed debt-relief plan, maturities on €96.6 billion ($112 billion) of loans Greece has received from its second bailout will be pushed out by 10 years. The extension will be accompanied by a 10-year grace period in interest and amortization payments on the same loans.

Both these steps are part of a broader package of measures aimed at ensuring that Greece will be able to service its debt over the next decades.

The eurozone creditors also agreed to disburse €15 billion to ease the country’s exit from the program. This would leave Greece with a hefty €24 billion safety cushion.