PM finds ‘open ears’ in US

Tsipras sees more sup­port for Greek debt re­lief ap­peal in New York than Brus­sels

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras yesterday in­di­cated that Greece’s ap­peal for debt re­lief had been re­ceived far bet­ter in New York than in Brus­sels, con­tin­u­ing his US visit which in­cluded talks with Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry.

“The Greek gov­ern­ment has found far more open ears [here] than in Brus­sels for the need for there to be a fair res­o­lu­tion of the cri­sis and a nec­es­sary re­duc­tion of the un­bear­able and un­sus­tain­able public debt that has ac­cu­mu­lated all those years,” Tsipras told re­porters. He was speak­ing on the fifth day of an of­fi­cial visit to the US and fol­low­ing meet­ings with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Greek-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity in New York who he de­scribed as “the best am­bas­sadors for Hel­lenism in the US, a coun­try which plays the most sig­nif­i­cant role glob­ally in all the cru­cial de­ci­sions that re­late to our coun­try’s fu­ture.”

Tsipras said Greeks have been “the vic­tim of choices that led to the grad­ual ero­sion of the coun­try’s na­tional sovereignty and to the need for bor­row­ing which re­sulted in the en­force­ment of mea­sures which have... weak­ened the pro­duc­tion base and the econ­omy.”

The com­ments came just a few days be­fore rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Greece’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors are to re­turn to Athens for ne­go­ti­a­tions on the prior ac­tions that Greek author­i­ties must leg­is­late to se­cure cru­cial res­cue loans.

In prepa­ra­tion for what prom­ises to be a dif­fi­cult pe­riod ahead, Tsipras has made some changes to his team of aides. State Min­is­ter Nikos Pap­pas, a close as­so­ciate and friend who is with Tsipras in New York, is to over­see the gov­ern­ment’s push to draw sorely needed in­vest­ments while re­tain­ing his po­si­tion as the premier’s chief of staff and mon­i­tor­ing the Gen­eral Sec­re­tar­iat for In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Yian­nis Dra­gasakis is to re­main in his role co­or­di­nat­ing eco­nomic and so­cial pol­icy but will no longer be in­volved in ne­go­ti­a­tions re­gard­ing debt, a task that will fall squarely in the hands of Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos.

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