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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-06-09

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Agreement in sight, but no to benefit cuts, PM Tsipras tells Corriere della Sera

  • [01] Agreement in sight, but no to benefit cuts, PM Tsipras tells Corriere della Sera

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday in an interview with Corriere della Sera referred to the progress of the negotiations with the institutions as well as Greece and Europe's economic future.

    Asked what new proposals he intends to make in order to reach a compromise in the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, he said: "I think that tomorrow's discussions will assess progress made so far. We will set a clear timetable for the agreement. We have submitted a full text, including common ground identified during technical negotiations in the Brussels Group. We will be working to bridge the gap on state finance, putting forward alternative proposals where demands are irrational and unacceptable. All this, however, will have some meaning if the institutions [are willing to find serious solutions for debt sustainability. We want to end once and for all this horrendous debate on Grexit, which has been a brake on economic stability in Europe for years. Not recycle the problem every six months."

    On measures agreed with the creditors, Tsipras said: "I believe we are very close to agreement on the primary surplus for the next few years. All it requires is a positive attitude to alternative proposals to pension cuts and the imposition of recessive measures. Our goal is measures that contain an element of redistribution and social justice."

    Asked why Greece should be any different from the others countries where austerity has been implemented, he stated: "The difference is that in Greece austerity has been applied with a brutality never seen before and has brought with it disastrous economic and social consequences ... The humanitarian crisis of the homeless and those who live on the edges of society has grown day by day. You only need to look at the programmes in Ireland or Portugal to realise that the comparisons are ‘unfortunate'. No one has suffered as much as Greece."

    Tsipras underlined that the key issue is that the entire weight of the crisis has fallen on the shoulders of the poor and the middle class. "What we would have expected from our partners was an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that Greece at last has a government prepared to take on the economic oligarchy and that they would help us to combat tax evasion, contraband and illegal employment. We are the only ones who can make these reforms. Only this will reassert Europe's legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens, and also in Greek eyes. This is the great challenge for Europe and Greece."

    Regarding the possibility of early elections, he said: "I don't foresee, nor I want, another election. We received an electoral investiture just three months ago and the polls show we have expanded our influence. In the four years allotted, we will carry our work through to completion. We won't let the Greek people down."

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