First from eKathimerini…
After a turbulent first week in office, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to calm fears about his government’s intentions and insisted on Saturday that it had no intention of defaulting on Greece’s debts and would actively try to reach an agreement soon with lenders.
“The deliberation with our European partners has just begun,” he said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. “Despite the fact that there are differences in perspective, I am absolutely confident that we will soon manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, both for Greece and for Europe as a whole.”
Tsipras attempted to downplay concern that Greece is heading for a breakdown in relations with its lenders.
“No side is seeking conflict and it has never been our intention to act unilaterally on the Greek debt,” he said.
“My obligation to respect the clear mandate of the Greek people with respect to ending the policies of austerity and returning to a growth agenda in no way entails that we will not fulfill our loan obligations to the ECB or the IMF.”
The Greek Prime Minister later explained that the government wants to create its own reform program, which would focus on tackling “tax evasion, corruption and clientelistic policies.”
Tsipras remains committed to maintaining “primary balanced budgets.”
“I am convinced that an agreement on these lines will be acceptable to our partners, because our common interest is the economic stability and recovery for our common home, Europe,” Tsipras said.
Meanwhile zerohedge reports…
Yesterday saw the clearest example yet of Europe’s anger that the Greeks may choose their own path as opposed to following the EU’s non-sovereign leadership’s demands when the most uncomfortable moment ever caught on tape – the moment when Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (he of the “template” foot in mouth disease) stood up at the end of the EU-Greece press conference, awkwardly shook hands with Greece’s new finance minister, and whispered…“you have just killed the Troika,” to which Varoufakis responded… “wow!”
Keep Talking Greece reports…
The joint press conference was concluding, when Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis droped a last bombshell. “…and with this if you want – and according to European Parliament – flimsily-constructed committee we have no aim to cooperate. Thank you.” Varoufakis was referring to the famous Troika, the country’s official creditors consisting of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank..
After concluding with a “Thank you” Varoufakis gives the word to Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who wants to hear the translation first. Then he takes off the ear phones, he stands up and sets to leave. An enforced-looking shaking of hands delays the departure of the Dutch FinMin.
Dijsselbloem quickly whispers something to Varoufakis’ ear, he briefly replies back and the Eurogroup chief leaves the press conference hall as soon as it was possible.
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