“Austerity will send us directly to hell” That was the main message of Alexis Tsipras, leader of left-wing SYRIZA to an American and international audience. Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Tsipras used the chance also to address German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly accusing her of “having put the euro and the Eurozone in big danger.”
Speaking from Athens, where he currently leads in the presidential [???]polls, Mr. Tsipras responded to German Chancellor Merkel’s ultimatum – either Greece seeks economic reform and embraces austerity, or it will be shown the door of the European Union.
“I don’t know what Madame Merkel wants to do but I know what we want to do,” said Tsipras. “We don’t want outside the Eurozone. But we believe that Madame Merkel put the euro and the Eurozone in big danger by keeping these austerity measures.”
He added, “We want to change the austerity measures in Greece, also in Europe. We want to do this with the incorporation of other forces and people of Europe, the people who want a big change. Because everybody now understands that with this policy we are going directly to the hell. And we want to change this way.”
Tsipras reiterated his party position that SYRIZA wants Greece to remain in the eurozone as return to national currency, drachma, this would mean a further deterioration for the poor society classes:
“At the same time we don’t want to go back to drachmas. Because in Greece we would have the poor people to have drachmas and rich people to buy everything with euros.”
Tsipras stressed that the Greek crisis is part of the euro crisis and warned of immediate impact across the EZ, should Greece leave the euro:
“If Greece goes back to the drachma, the second day the other countries in Europe will have the same problem,” said Tsipras.
“I really disagree with a lot of the things that Madame Merkel say and do, ““but I agree with what she said before, that if Greece goes out of the euro, the second day the markets will find who will be the second, and the second will be Italy or Spain.” (Further Reading inCNN -Blog – Christiane Amanpour)
Wednesday night Alexis Tsipras gave an interesting interview in Greece’s state broadcast NET TV. He spoke mainly on the economic programme of his party. I took several notes and I will post them in KTG either during the day or tomorrow.