“Breakthrough in bailout talks is close,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced Monday evening as Greece is struggling to strike a deal with the country’s creditors by May 9th and avoid default to International Monetary Fund. In a live-interview to a private television channel, Tsipras ruler out snap elections but he streesed the necessity for a referendum if lenders insisted on demands deemed unacceptable by his leftist government, elected to scrap austerity
He also said that “priority of the Greek government was the payment of wages and pensions”.
During the interview to STAR TV and journalist Nikos Chatzinikolaou’s programme “ston eniko”, Alexis Tsipras stressed that the government did not have the right to accept the creditors’ demands that fell outside the limits of its mandate and would have to ask Greeks to decide.
“If the solution falls outside our mandate, I will not have the right to violate it, so the solution to which we will come to will have to be approved by the Greek people,” he told Star television in the interview.
“But I am certain we will not reach that point. Despite the difficulties, the possibilities to win in the negotiations are large. We should not give in to panic moves. Whoever gets scared in this game loses.”
Answering questions posed by the audience present in the TV studio, Tsipras addressed issues that trouble the Greek society like the market and the economy, taxation, lack of liquidity, bureaucracy and a very slow and ineffective justice system.
Among other, the Prime Minister said that the high contributions to social security s were a problem and needed to be dealt with by a draft bill; meanwhile, a joint ministerial decision was being drafted to cover more than 2.5 million uninsured Greek people – a humanitarian crisis. (more: here, here and here)
Video: Alexis Tsipras interview (English translation/PART I)
Video: Alexis Tsipras, (English translation/ PART II/ Q&A with audience)
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PS Kudos to enikos.gr for the English voice over