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PM Tsipras in Parliament: No bailout extension, bridge program until June

Under immense pressure but his Euro-zone partners, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to reveal the policy program of the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition government.

Greek media have been reporting earlier Sunday, that the Greek coalition does not intend to bow to EZ-pressure to stick to strict austerity and the commitments signed by the previous government.

On the contrary Tsipras is expected to reveal a government program with less austerity and measures to benefit the vulnerable and impoverished groups of the Greek society, that have been suffering form the strict austerity of the last 5 years.

Reuters reported earlier today that

“Tsipras is expected to say that Greece wants no more bailout money, plans to renegotiate its debt deal and wants a “bridge agreement” to tide the country over until a new pact is sealed.

A second part of the speech will touch on his government’s social and fiscal policy over the longer term and is likely to repeat pledges for such things as a rise in the minimum wage and free electricity for poorer Greeks.”


Tsipras first major speech in the Greek Parliament is scheduled to start at 7 pm Sunday.

A debate will follow tomorrow Monday, the vote of confidence will take place, Tuesday, February 10th at midnight.

Live Blog

07:30 pm

Parliament TV channel just started live link.

Plenary Session is starting now

Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou reads the statute

07:43 pm

PM Alexis Tsipras takes the floor

Please, not I am going to post here the main points (no simultaneous translation!)

Alexis Tsipras speech

Winning back our sovereignty, restoring equal role in Europe, tackling humanitarian crisis are among our key targets.

speaks of “government of national salvation.”

We have to fight for the interests of our people, for the national interest.

I want to assure MPs and citizens that we want to apply the whole of our pre-elections promises.

For me this commitment is a matter of honor and reliability. A matter of democratic duty.

Austerity policies lead the country to political and economic deadlock.

We have commitments only towards the Greek people.

Greece features on world stage, but for the first time in positive light, as country that does not accept orders like that does not accept “orders via e-mails” (reference to Troika sending austerity demands via emails)

The agenda is changing, the negotiations have started with SYRIZA presenting proposals.

In this negotiations there are not only the technocrats but also the people, the Greek people, the European people who will not allow such development.

The previous gov’t intentionally chose to impose very short time frame for negotiations by asking 2-month extension”

The previous gov’t accepted a mixture of policies destined to fail but also left next gov’t with hands tied.

We repeat in all tunes that Greece wants to serve its debt. We tell this to our partners.

If we accept that austerity is catastrophic, we will achieve technical solutions via negotiations

Tsipras has so far made also some reference to figures, I will recover them after his speech is over.

The infamous Memoranum of Understanding was abolished by the people’s verdict.

The Greek people have a clear a strong mandate for the end of the austerity. that’s why the gov’t has no right to ask for “bailout program extension.”

The government has proposals that cannot be be accepted in negotiations.

Greece cannot service huge debt.

“We’re asking for bridge agreement until June. Despite difficulties, this is possible”

As of Wednesday morning our program begins:

top priority: free meals, housing, electricity, medical & medication assess and to vulnerable households impoverished by austerity.

Rehiring unjust laid off workers in public sector like cleaners of FinMinistry, school guards. These will not affect the budget.

short before Tsipras said that yesterday the debt surpassed 180% of GDP

He announces a series of measures to decrease benefits for MPs like vehicles, number of police guards to them, decreasing the number of advisers and consultants, selling one of the 3 airplanes for the PM, decrease by 30% the employees of the PM’s office.

Decrease bureaucracy like one institution will not ask papers and documents from citizens while these papers are already in other institutions (KTG notes wow!)

The govt is ready to give a huge fight against corruption and tax evasion.
He announces measures to combat illegal fuel and tobacco trade.

We put an end to so-called “sea-loans” (given by banks to local elites and businessmen, and that are not paid back).

We proceed with the establishment of investigation committee for the Memorandums of Understanding!

We break the “triangle of power” between banking sector, political world media outlets.

We reestablish the ERT (former state broadcast ). Cost will be covered by the Radio-Television fees.

Voting of Law to provide with Greek nationality children of second generation migrants is imminent.

Taxation: even in times when growth was 4% debt was stuck. that was not because of employees and pensioners but because of

Taxation justice is an unknown word in our country. We will put an end to this illogical.

Eveyr person and business will be taxed according to its taxation ability.

Tax free annual income 12,000 euro.

We abolish ENFIA (Unified Property Tax) as by 2015 and replace it with “Tax of Big Property possession.) How ever I advice people to do pay the running ENFIA installments (of 2014, last installm end Feb 2015)

Immediately abolish the regulation that turns – against the Constitution -, the offense of non-payment of debts to the public to a permanent one.

Control of radio and television stations (that operate without licenses.)

Labour: reestablish of collective bargains.
With advice of International Labor Organization (ILO), we will restore collective wage bargaining

We abolish the age/wages differentiation among employees: no reduced wages for those below 25 yrs old.

Increase of minimum wage to 751 euro gross.

Competitiveness can not be based on cheap labor and work without rights.

Negotiations with EU partners must conclude in agreement because fiscal targets our too tight, feed deflation, recession.

Combat unemployment with boosting maritime, tourism, etc , incentives for investors.

“Selling national assets to pay unsustainable debt is crime. We won’t sell off natural wealth, networks & infrastructure.

we end the privatization of natural wealth.

Every proposal will be examined on whether it operates in the public interest.

We need a program that will not focus just on deficit, as our Italian and French partners agree.

We need to redesign the banking sector.

We will forbid the auctioning of First Home (for debtors).

Investigate responsibilities for the Social Insurance Funds.

We will exploit natural resources to fill the coffers of Social Insurance funds. Established is to be a fund of Natural Resources & Social Insurance.”

We cancel what ex FinMin promised to Troika, that is : cuts in main and supplementary pensions, no raise in retirement age.

We restore the “!3th pension – Christmas bonus” for pensions up to 700 euro monthly.

Foreign Policy:

Aim is territorial integrity, sovereignty in international and bilateral level.

Our foreign policy aims to promote Greece as a field of stability within an unstable region.

“Let me salute the support the Cypriot gov’t is giving us for the negotiations ahead”

Historical responsibility is the claim of the Occupation Loan and Reparation payments (refers to claims from Germany from WWII when Greece was occupied by the Nazis)

We call on even those who won’t vote for us to back us in negotiations, to back Greece.

We are not negotiate our history, the dignity and pride of Greek people.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was deeply touched when he asked for a vote of confidence.

“We will not negotiate our history, the pride and dignity of this folk. We will implement every word of the Constitution of this country, we will serve the  Constitution, the sacrifices of the Greek people. ”

“I urge you to give a vote of confidence for this government of social salvation, to give a fight for his country, for future generations, to regain the people’s lost dignity. This fight we will give together.”

He thanked Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos for the establishment of the “social salvation government”.

Tsipras’ speech concluded!

tsipras parliament

*** Majority of Nea Dimokratia MPs were absent from the Parliament Plenary Hall while the PM was speaking.

Embedded image permalink

   seats on the pict-left mostly empty

However, present was veteran politician Konstantinos Mitsotakis, 96, who has served also as PM of ND. “I came to listen to the Prime Minister’s speech,” he told the media.

His presence surprised as he was not present when ex PM Samaras had revealed the ND/PASOK program in summer 2012.


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  1. Again euro, euro, euro. In the long run (10, 20 years) Greece needs drachmas. Some turmoil at the beginning, but afterwards – normal life. The data about GDP (that Greece did not develop 14 years) really convinced me that euro was a mistake for Greece – I know that perspective of 10 or 20 years is far, but not so much.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      first say thank you for the live blog

      • Your are absolutely right. I am deeply impressed how much energy and time you spend to spread such detailed information! Many, many thanks KTG!

        • keeptalkinggreece

          thank you. today I was surprised too lol

          • Yes, Keeptalkinggreece, you make a very very good work. Whatever I can think about Tsipras – and until the end of the confrontation I will look at the situation of Greece every day some times – your blog is a very good source of information. This confrontation is simply extremely interesting.

  2. Thank you so much for this – let us see how much of this makes it into the anglophone media verbatim

  3. Thank you for this excellent work! Deeply appreciated.
    There is also quite good post by Zero Hedge, although ZH’s style is most of the time very cynical.

    Rest of Euro Zone will blink. They cannot afford to do otherwise. I wish courage and strength for both mr. Tsipras and mr. Varoufakis.

  4. Thank you for this post!
    A very bold statement. The only issue is that this government seems to rely on someone else money to fund its policy. My guess is that on the 12th it’s going to be tough, as it seems there is no plan B for Greece, unless we want to consider a return to Drachma the plan B.

  5. I love this blog, you are the ONLY source of timely, accurate, detailed information on Greece in English!!

    I have been very skeptical of SYRIZA and Tsipras but I am very impressed with this speech and what Varoufakis is saying and doing last few days.

    Looks like we might have someone who is finally really willing to stand up to EU and Germany!

    In the end I am with Peter, seems more and more clear that the only way to permanently end the econimic disaster and eventually grow and prosper is to bring back our OWN SOVEREIGN CURRENCY, DRACHMA.

  6. And the best illustration how well Keeptalkinggreece works is the number of visits in his blog. In December 60000, in January 210000 according to an internet page. Wow, 210000 is excellent !
    Even if I still do not agree with leftist ideas :). And to say honestly – when the confrontation finishes, the number of visits will go down :(. But I think it will still be very high.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      you must have a very depressive horoscope

      • Why ? Greece is making everywhere headlines now. Saying the truth is not depressive. Whatever we think – the confrontation (or agreement) Greece / Germany will influence very strongly the future of Europe.
        OK, but I agree – as long as the confrontation lasts – and it will take some time, your blog can have even half a million visits a month (or more).
        And I agree with Spanopoulos that “you are the ONLY source of timely, accurate, detailed information on Greece in English”.

  7. Wholeheartedly support the comments about your information and site and also wonder how much of MrT’s speech will make the world press, I have followed Mr V’s blog for many years and am impressed with his knowledge, straight talking and honesty. I wish them every success but fear too many are in the wings waiting for it to fail. I think the biggest disgrace of yesterday’s parliamentary debate was the absence of many ND Politicians. It’s about time they all stopped behaving like children and pulled together for the best outcome for Greece’s people. Honesty must be a new concept for them all… Greece is growing up… about time. Keep up the good work and thank you

  8. Wow, Greece and Mr Tsipras are really making headlines. The first news on is Mr Tsipras, the second – Mr Kotzias. On Mr Tsipras, on – Greece as the first news. Greece is dominating now the financial news and a part of German news.
    Plenty to read about Greece, but this blog is also an opportunity to know what Greeks think.
    I think there will be more visits to Keeptalkinggreece blog this and next week.