The talks still continues in Brussels. But Greece remains on its undecision yet. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has warned international creditors not to impose humiliating terms on his country as it seeks urgently needed bailout funds. He said negotiations were at a “critical” stage, but that the lenders’ proposals were “not realistic”. He was briefing parliament amid growing opposition in his leftist Syriza party to the creditors’ proposals.
Tsipras described the EU-IMF lenders’ plan as a “bad moment for Europe” and a “bad negotiating trick”.
He accused Greece’s lenders of massively backtracking on measures agreed in recent months, and of failing to take into account the need for an end to austerity in their latest offer.
Tsipras denouncing it. He said: “The strangulation of a country is a matter of moral order which conflicts with the founding principles of Europe.”
He said the aim of any deal should be “for a solution and not to… humiliate a whole people”.
He said his own proposals were the only “realistic” option.
Tsipras said on Thursday that an agreement with Greece’s international creditors was “in sight”, particularly on the key sticking point of primary surpluses – the amount by which tax revenues exceed public spending.
But he said there were “points that no-one would consider as a base for discussion” – citing cuts to pensions and higher sales tax for electricity.
Underlining a deep sense of anger among Syriza members, Deputy Social Security Minister Dimitris Stratoulis, who is close to the far-left faction of the ruling Syriza party, denounced the measures.
“If [the creditors] do not back down from this package of blackmail, the government …will have to seek alternative solutions, elections,” he told Antenna TV.
However, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Thursday he saw “no reason whatsoever” for Greece to go to snap elections, according to Reuters.
The main points of the deal include:
- International creditors want pension cuts, slimmer civil service, VAT reform, fewer tax rebates and more private sector investment, reports say
- Mr Tsipras rules out increased VAT on energy and reduced supplementary payments for poorer pensioners
- Athens wants lower primary budget surplus targets, but both sides appear close to agreement. According to reports, creditors want a budget surplus of 1% of GDP this year and 2% next year, while Greece has proposed 0.8% for 2015 and 1.5% for 2016
Conclusion: Greeks loses their patience with Tsipras and his cabinet.