Saturday

22nd Feb 2020

Tsipras rejects creditors' offer

  • Tsipras rejected the creditors' proposal as 'a bad negotiation trick' (Photo: and641)

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras rejected a proposal by the country's creditors for an agreement Friday afternoon (5 June), calling it "a bad negotiation trick".

Tsipras was addressing the Greek parliament two days after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker presented him a plan prepared by the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to unblock a €7.2 billion loan in exchange of Greek structural reforms.

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The Greek PM, who wanted to rally his majority and force the opposition to support him or publicly back the creditors' plan, delivered a strident speech.

"I want to believe the proposal presented by [commission head] Jean-Claude Juncker was a slip up, a mistake," he said, adding that he had never imagined that the creditors would "believe a politician in Greece could vote for this proposal".

"I hope it will be withdrawn," he added.

Tsipras assured that "the Greek government cannot under any circumstances agree to any unreasonable proposals" and said the only "realistic proposal" to reach an agreement was his government's.

The main blocking points remain the cuts in pensions required by the creditors as well as VAT rates and labour market reforms.

The Greek PM added the issue of restructuring the Greek debt and called for a "comprehensive solution", something that creditors have not yet been ready to consider.

Tsipras nevertheless ended his speech saying he was confident Greece and its creditors were "closer than ever to an agreement".

"We are committed to finding a solution that puts an end to unrealistic surpluses and austerity, and makes the debt sustainable," he said.

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