Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The result of the summit meeting in Brussels is the result of the pressure put on the country, but the agreement achieved could allow Greece to avoid exiting the euro and place the country on a sustainable path, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras noted in a long interview with state broadcaster Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) yesterday. It was a bad deal, but the best available under the circumstances, remarked the PM, underlining that he is fully assuming responsibilities for any mistakes or oversights, "and for the responsibility of signing a text that I do not believe in, but that I am obliged to implement."

What happened in Brussels constituted "a bad night for Europe," during which "the traditions of Europe were not respected," the premier noted. “We ended up with a tough agreement, but at least it’s not the dead end we were presented with earlier.” He clarified that the choices presented to Greece were either an agreement with these conditions, or a disorderly bankruptcy and eventually an exit from the Eurozone. Tsipras also rebuffed calls to resign, saying that he had a responsibility to implement the agreement and serve a full four-year term.

The PM stressed that he would do all he could to maintain the unity of Syriza, but his priority was to secure a deal and the stability of the economy and banking system before dealing with party matters.
  • Omnibus bill
In related news, the omnibus draft bill "Emergency Measures for the Negotiation and Agreement With the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)," which includes the prior actions agreed upon in the summit meeting was tabled in parliament yesterday and will be voted with a fast track procedure. The     bill contains a number of critical reforms, which need to be ratified in order to proceed with the agreement reached in Brussels, and will be submitted to the relevant committees in Parliament (Financial Affairs, Public Administration, Production and Trade, Social Affairs) today. The aim is for the committee debate to be over by 2 p.m. in order for the bill to be sent to the plenary, so that the vote can be completed tonight.

ERT WebTV: Interview with PM Tsipras (in Greek, 14.07)