Friday 20 October 2017

Tsipras vows reform as he seeks new loan instead of bailout

Tsipras dismissed his country's European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout and said he would not ask EU leaders for an extension (REUTERS/ Alkis Konstantinidis)
Tsipras dismissed his country's European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout and said he would not ask EU leaders for an extension (REUTERS/ Alkis Konstantinidis)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers his first major speech in parliament in Athens. Tsipras on Sunday dismissed his country's European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout and said he would not ask EU leaders for an extension (REUTERS/ Alkis Konstantinidis)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, speaks with Deputy Prime Minister Giannis Dragasakis, centre, and Interior and Administrative Reconstruction Minister Nikos Voutsis before Tsipras' first major speech in parliament in Athens (REUTERS/ Alkis Konstantinidis)

Deepa Babington

Greece's new prime minister Alexis Tsipras, warned last night he would not accept an extension to Greece's current bailout, setting up a clash with EU leaders.

He said his government would seek a bridge loan rather than an extension.

Mr Tsipras also pledged to heal the "wounds" of austerity, sticking to campaign pledges of giving free food and electricity to those who had suffered, and reinstating civil servants who had been fired as part of bailout austerity conditions.

In his first major speech to parliament as premier, the prime minister said he was still optimistic he could reach agreement with Greece's EU partners on a new debt pact and transitional agreement.

"The bailout failed," he said. "The new government is not justified in asking for an extension ... because it cannot ask for an extension of mistakes."

Mr Tsipras's speech will have been closely watched by EU leaders who to date have shown scant willingness to meet his demands, fearing a wholesale backtracking on fiscal and economic reforms.

He said the main battle would be against corruption and vowed to tackle Greece's long-time struggle with tax evasion.

He also announced a series of cuts to politicians' benefits such as banning ministerial cars.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in World News