In a speech before the Greek Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made it clear that his Syriza government would not accept a continuation of the austerity measures imposed by outside forces as he formally announced Greece would refuse the next installment of a bailout package from foreign creditors. Instead, the newly-elected leader vowed, Greece would chart a new economic path ahead of upcoming negotiations that will put the ordinary people of Greece first ahead of bankers abroad and elite corruption at home.
“We only have one commitment: to serve the interests of our people, the good of society,” Tsipras announced as he explained that accepting the next loan tranche, a loan of €7 billion, from the so-called Troika—composed of the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund—would be tantamount to betrayal.
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“We realise that negotiations [with foreign lenders] won’t be easy,” Tsipras declared, “but we have faith in our struggle, because justice is on our side.”
“The bailout failed,” Tsipras declared in his much-anticipated address, but said his government’s decision to break with the Troika’s economic perscription was not only because they oppose the austerity ideologically, but because the measures have failed to provide the gains which were promised to result. The policies, he said, have failed the Greek people by every measure. “The Greek people gave a strong and clear mandate to immediately end austerity and change policies,” he said. “Therefore the bailout was first canceled by its very own failure and its destructive results.”
“We see hope, dignity and pride returning to Greek citizens,” Tsipras announced. “Our obligation and duty is not to disappoint them.”
Going further, Tsipras also stressed that austerity is not just a problem for his country, but has been a misguided policy imposed on people across the continent.
“The problem is not just Greek,” he said. “It never was. The crisis is not just Greek; it is European.”
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