ATHENS (dpa) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Sunday he still considers an agreement with European Union countries on Greece’s debt crisis possible despite reservations within the EU.
Tsipras also told Parliament in Athens Sunday that Greece would propose a bridge deal to its EU partners to secure government funding until June.
Greece risks running out of cash by the middle of the year unless a review of the country’s progress in meeting the terms of its current bailout is completed by the end of February.
“The current bailout has been repealed through its own catastrophic results and the verdict of the people in January 25 (date of the parliamentary elections),” Tsipras said.
This is why the new government wants to renegotiate the programme to manage the Greek debt crisis, he said, avoiding the word “haircut” but saying Greece wants to “service its debts.”
Tsipras vowed to mount drastic reforms, more social justice and a tougher fight against corruption and tax evasion. He said the government would push legislation to raise the minimum wage to 751 euros (850 dollars) per month.
His leftist SYRIZA party won a parliamentary election two weeks ago after campaigning to reverse austerity measures imposed by creditors in exchange for bailout funds.
His government is determined to implement all of its campaign promises, he said. Chief among them is assistance to the weakest people in the country.
“Our priority starting from Wednesday is to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the country,” he said. The government will neither raise the retirement age nor cut pensions, he pledged.
The government will cover the additional outlays by saving money in other places, for example, by doing away with privileges for civil servants such as company cars. Wealth kept outside Greece also would be examined as part of the fight against corruption and tax evasion.