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PM Tsipras warns eurozone leaders: Debt relief is needed for growth

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned eurozone leaders on Thursday Greece would struggle to return to sustainable growth without a debt-relief deal.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Tsipras said he expected the recession-stricken Greek economy to return to growth in 2016 and expand by 2.7 percent next year but that the lack of debt relief acted as a brake on the recovery.

“The recovery is slow, in particular because we don’t see the necessary generosity from our partners on the issue of debt relief,” he told Le Monde in an interview published on its website.

“If they refuse to move forward on this issue, then it will be difficult for my country to return to growth,” he said.

Tsipras said it was time for Europe to give a signal on the issue and that it could not wait until after Germany’s federal elections due in September 2017.

“We have 27 democratically elected governments in Europe. Germany is not the only country with elections,” he said.

Germany, the European Union’s biggest economy and longtime critic of Greece’s economic performance, is very reluctant to discuss granting debt relief for Athens before its elections.

Athens, facing a second bailout review entailing an unpopular loosening of labor laws in the autumn, is keen to show that painful tax rises and pension cuts as part of its 86 billion-euro bailout deal last year will bear fruit.

Tsipras also said it was unacceptable that only 3,000 migrants had been resettled so far this year out of a planned 33,000 for the full year. (Reuters)

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4 comments

  1. “Tsipras said it was time for Europe to give a signal on the issue and that it could not wait until after Germany’s federal elections due in September 2017”

    But Alex, it is not about returning Greece to growth, or doing what is right. It’s about Germany and always has been. Have you forgotten that the original bailout was to protect German banks from the consequences of their risky investments in Greek securities, no less the added impact that a Greek default would have had on German banks’ involvement in the US mortgage crisis? When it comes to economics, only German politics are valid concerns.

    Germany’s National Anthem is quite clear:

    Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt.

    Germany, Germany above all, above all else in the world.

  2. T’was ever thus.

  3. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Alternative for Germoney: Verrecke!

  4. … and it is exactly why Alex and his friends are paid – so people say – so handsomely to keep Deutschland über alles and Greece unter allen!