Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sharply criticized the country’s creditors on insisting to impose a “failed program” and accused the International Monetary Fund of “criminal responsibility for what has happened in the last 5 years.”
Speaking to his own lawmakers in SYRIZA’s parliamentary group on Tuesday, Alexis Tsipras also accused the European Central Bank of using tactics that create “financial asphyxiation.” The European Union did not escape Tsipras’ arrows, who said
“The EU cannot use the IMF’s program a la carte, that is accept IMF’s austerity but reject IMF’s debt restructuring.”
Both Greece and the IMF favor debt restructuring and when the Greek Prime Minister speaks of “thorough solution” he includes the debt relief as well.
Tsipras said that he rejected demands from creditors to impose additional austerity measures worth 1.8 billion euros and added that the latest cuts demanded by lenders concerned the pensioners pensioners, who have already been “brought to their knees.”
“It’s up to the government to decide who will pay taxes in this country. Not pensioners and employees, but the oligarchs,” Tsipras said and the MPs applauded.
“We are being asked to accept a deal that not only doesn’t solve the problem but which sweeps away a recovering economy into recession.”
He described the problems arising during the negotiations as “a show of strength aimed at killing any effort to counter austerity … It’s an issue that does not only concern Greece but all the peoples of Europe,” he said.
“Time has come for our partners to speak clearly–do they want to solve the problem of Greece, or do they want this to perpetuate. It’s time for the IMF’s proposals to be judged, and to be judged publicly.”
“The situation in which we find ourselves today is that IMF positions prevail when it comes to the strictness of austerity measures asked, while at the same time EU positions prevail when it comes to the denial for any discussion about Greek debt sustainability.” Tsipras summarized the difficulties during the negotiations.
“We will continue to work with the same sobriety and determination to the end to find a solution. The easiest thing for us to do would be what our predecessors did–which was to sign an agreement.’
“Our mandate is clear,” he said, “to end the policy of austerity after 5 years that have increased social inequalities.”
“The negotiation has just started now, we want a viable agreement with mutual benefit,” Tsipras added leaving analysts wondering whether an agreement still had a chance.