Greek opposition leader Tsipras calls for European debt conference

Posted by in Economy

Greek main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras from left-wing SYRIZA called for European debt conference and a debt ‘haircut’ for Greece and the entire Southern Europe as the only viable solution. In an exclusive interview to British daily “The Guardian“, Tsipras stressed that the austerity program is not working while it increases the cost socially and economically. “That is why we are proposing a conference along the lines of the one that took place in London in 1953, which relieved Germany of around 60% of its debt.” Furthermore, he demanded a “growth clause” to be inserted in the Greek program giving Athens the possibility to repay its loan according to its ability to pay.

“It is quite clear that the latest agreement was a compromise that will only perpetuate the uncertainty … Merkel has to say to her people before [the 2013 German] elections that the programme is not working.”

“The only viable solution is a haircut not only for Greece but the entire southern periphery. The longer creditors postponed writing off a significant portion of Athens’ staggering debt the greater the cost both socially and economically.

“That is why we are proposing a conference along the lines of the one that took place in London in 1953, which relieved Germany of around 60% of its debt. We want to agree with our lenders on a credible solution. It doesn’t matter where it takes place but it should happen as soon as possible.”

 “We are also asking for time, a moratorium, of servicing the debt so that we can redirect that money to growth. Suspended interest payments, projected to amount to about €13 [billion] every year, would be used to kick-start the moribund Greek economy. It would be a win-win solution.”

“There are two pillars to Europe’s economic problem, the first being the debt which has to be made viable and the second being austerity which has to finish. If we continue with such measures it is like putting oil on the fire..”

“When the crisis began in 2009 our debt stood at 120% of our GDP. This year it is projected officially to be 175.6 %. And now they [EU-IMF] say that to make the debt viable we must hit 124% of GDP by 2020.” .

“Let’s suppose they are right – but how do they want to get there? After 12 years of catastrophic austerity and measures totalling €19bn Greece will have become a no-man’s land.” (full article Guardian)

Less than six months after the June-elections, SYRIZA leads in public opinion surveys, 3-4 units ahead of PM Antonis Samaras’ Nea Dimocratia. The third loan agreement with additional cuts in wages and pensions,  an unjust new taxation system, galloping unemployment at 26% and absence of growth measures bring down ot their knees not only the citizens but soon also the Greek coalition government.