Friday

3rd Feb 2023

Tsipras blames creditors for stalled talks

  • Tipras: 'the decision is … in the hands of Europe’s leaders' (Photo: europar.europa.eu)

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has heaped blame on the country’s creditors for the fact there’s still no bailout deal.

In an op-ed published on Le Monde's website on Sunday (31 May), he said lack of agreement isn’t "down to the supposed intransigent, uncompromising, and incomprehensible Greek stance".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"It is due to the insistence of certain institutional actors on submitting absurd proposals and displaying a total indifference to the recent democratic choice of the Greek people”.

He said Greece is the victim of "a conflict between two diametrically opposing strategies concerning the future of European unification".

While "the first strategy aims to deepen European unification in the context of equality and solidarity between its people and citizens", he noted, the other seeks "the split and the division of the eurozone, and consequently of the EU".

He warned that "Europe is at a crossroads”, but said his government cannot do any more to meet demands.

"Following the serious concessions made by the Greek government, the decision is now … in the hands of Europe’s leaders”.

Pension and labour market reforms remain the sticking points in the negotiations

But Tsipras said the Greek pension system has been weakened by "the extreme austerity programme that has been implemented in Greece since 2010". He said demands on labour would "flagrantly violate European labour legislation".

A few hours after his op-ed was published, Tsipras held a phone-conference with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande.

It was their second call in three days, in a sign that any deal depends on agreement at the highest level.

There’s also a chance the three leaders will meet in Berlin on Monday.

Merkel, Hollande and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will be in the German capital for a business summit and Tispras, according to unconfirmed reports, could join them in the margins.

IMF deadline

The strident rhetoric comes as the clock tics toward another repayment deadline.

Greece is meant to pay €300 million back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday (5 June).

Some EU leaders are beginning to say a Greek default could be contained by the eurozone “firewalls” imposed after the financial crisis.

For his part, Juncker, speaking in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, warned that a Greek exit fan "the idea that the euro is not irreversible".

"I don’t share this idea that we would have less worries and constraints if Greece abandoned the euro," he said.

But he also said he "cannot imagine" the EU would continue to help Greece without the IMF.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief, has hinted that it might not participate in any top-up Greek rescues. But Juncker noted that “without the IMF, it won’t work”.

The Greek economy minister George Stathakis on Sunday said his country would meet its IMF commitment.

“The country has been servicing its loans through internal resources for the past year. It will do the same this time”, he told Greece's Real News daily.

Deadlines multiply

But even if Greece finds the money by Friday, it needs to find still more to pay pensions and salaries, as well as another €900 million for the IMF later in June.

"Greece has not been paying its bills for weeks," EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Germany’s Die Welt on Monday.

He added that Greece could opt to repay the IMF in one instalment at the end of the month instead, gaining more time to try to unblock the last €7.2 billion tranche of its bailout before the later deadline.

"It's up to the Greek government to decide whether to propose to bundle its IMF payments in June and win some days' time", he said.

Greek bank deposits hit decade low

Deposits held by Greek banks have fallen to their lowest level in a decade, according to statistics released on Friday by the European Central Bank.

Lenders to present last offer to Greece

Leaders from Germany, France, the EU and the International Monetary Fund met on Monday night in Berlin to prepare what could be a final offer for Greece.

EU lobby register still riddled with errors

The EU's lobby register remains riddled with errors, with pro-transparency campaigners demanding better data and mandatory rules. The latest findings come amid a raft of proposals by the European Parliament president to weed out corruption in the wake of Qatargate.

Latest News

  1. Greece faces possible court over 'prison-like' EU-funded migration centres
  2. How the centre-right can take on hard-right and win big in 2024
  3. Top EU officials show Ukraine solidarity on risky trip
  4. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  5. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  6. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  7. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  8. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  4. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  6. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us