Tsipras be­lieves bailout bad deal

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

IN AN ex­tra­or­di­nary in­ter­view on Greek public tele­vi­sion, Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras has re­vealed he does not be­lieve in the tough bailout deal of­fered by eu­ro­zone lead­ers but agreed to im­ple­ment it to save the nearin­sol­vent coun­try.

Mr Tsipras also in­sisted he would not quit de­spite grow­ing dis­sent among the coun­try’s peo­ple over the € 86 bil­lion ($ A127 bil­lion) bailout’s dra­co­nian aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

De­fend­ing the agree­ment, he said the ‘‘ bad deal” was the best avail­able.

“I as­sume re­spon­si­bil­ity for all mis­takes I may have made,” he said. “I as­sume re­spon­si­bil­ity for a text I do not be­lieve in, but which I signed to avoid dis­as­ter for the coun­try, the col­lapse of the banks.’’

Greeks took to the streets in Athens yesterday an­gry at the way Mr Tsipras han­dled ne­go­ti­a­tions, re­ject­ing lighter re­forms in months of talks be­fore cav­ing in to harsher aus­ter­ity mea­sures at the 11th th hour hour.

On the eve of a key par­lia­men­tary vote on the re­forms, Mr Tsipras said he had fought a bat­tle not to cut wages and pen­sions, adding the fis­cal ad­just­ment agreed in the deal was milder than ad­just­ments agreed to in the past.

The 40- year- old Prime Min­is­ter also faced strong dis­con­tent within his own Syriza party over the deal.

But he said he in­tended to serve a full four- year term. “The worst thing a cap­tain can do while steer­ing a ship dur­ing a storm, as dif­fi­cult as it is, is to aban­don the helm. The hard truth is this one- way street for Greece was im­posed on us.”

Mr Tsipras in­sisted things would have been worse had there been no deal.

“A dis­or­derly de­fault would not only have led to a col­lapse of the bank­ing sys­tem and a dis­ap­pear­ance of all de­posits, but it would force you to print a cur­rency which would be dras­ti­cally de­val­ued be­cause there is no re­serve to sup­port it,” he said.

left)

and Alexis Tsipras on TV.

A poster of Wolf­gang Schauble (

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