Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed on Wednesday to present “credible” plans to seal more emergency loans from his exasperated European creditors ahead of a summit of all 28 EU leaders on the debt crisis on Sunday. Greece’s alternative plan became the center of attention after its voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed austerity plan being demanded by the European Union.
“The Greek government will tomorrow file new concrete proposals, credible reforms, for a fair and viable solution”, Tsipras told lawmakers at the the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. For the first time he stated explicitly that the problems facing Greece are not just the fault of the evil creditors. In recent days, signs of a rift have emerged between some Eurozone countries willing to be flexible in coming to an agreement with Greece as quickly as possible and others that have adopted a harder line.
The Secretary General underlines the fact that austerity in Greece has not worked according to reports published by Caritas Europa. The United States has said it wants an early solution to Greece’s debt crisis that keeps Athens in the European currency area.
Without going into detail, he said he was calling for negotiations on the “sustainability of (Greek) public debt”, but that “restructuring” was not created to “provide an extra burden” on European people.
Slovakian Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said, “Personally, I am skeptical a deal will be found”.
After his debut appearance in Brussels, Tsakalotos told reporters that fellow eurozone nations had shown “political will” and there had been “progress” at the talks to help the country reach a bailout deal.
Speaking for the first time at an EP plenary session in his role as prime minister, Tsipras said: “I think the debate we are having today in this chamber should have taken place much earlier”.
Greece has been granted two bailout programs worth a total of 240 billion euros ($266 billion) in loans from other eurozone countries and the worldwide Monetary Fund. But the spending cuts and tax increases demanded as a condition for the loans have hit growth, causing an economic depression and pushing unemployment to 25 percent.
European leaders gave debt-stricken Athens a final deadline of Sunday to reach a new bailout deal and avoid crashing out of the euro, after Greek voters rejected global creditors’ plans in a weekend referendum.
The country’s banks remain shut for a sixth working day the government tries to limit a drain of deposits despite limits on cash withdrawals at ATMs.
Euclid Tsakalotos was sworn in Monday as Greece’s new finance minister, replacing Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned following Sunday’s referendum.
Instead, backed by his referendum victory on Sunday, Mr Tsipras stood his ground.
“Certainly it’s not our aim, it’s not our intention”, said European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. “And for sure it will be most painful for the Greek people”.
Rajoy said he was in agreement with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over how to approach the crisis, adding that “the ball is in the Greek government’s court” and insisting repeatedly on the need for reforms.
The Greek government on Tuesday managed, yet again, to disappoint the ministers of the eurozone.
On Tuesday, representatives of the 19-nation eurozone, where the euro is the official currency, will hold an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss next steps.