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Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes to radio airwaves to try and explain where it all went wrong for Greece

Via Zerohedge…

According to data presented at an extraordinary meeting of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, retail sales have fallen 70%, while The Athens Medical Association recently warned that 7,500 doctors have left Greece since 2010.

To be sure, assigning blame for the economic malaise is difficult as it’s still largely unclear whether internal structural problems or externally imposed belt tightening deserve the lion’s share of the blame, but there certainly does seem to be a growing consensus among impartial observers that creditors’ insistence on the implementation of still more austerity in the middle of what amounts to a depression may be a fool’s errand – especially with capital controls serving to constrain economic activity.

It is against this backdrop that Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will attempt to pass a third set of prior actions through parliament – this will be the first such vote to take place with representatives of the “Quadriga” on the ground in Athens. As we noted on Tuesday, “if creditors aren’t satisfied with the progress by August 18 (i.e. if for any reason Tsipras doesn’t manage to get the third set of bailout prerequisites by lawmakers), then paying the ECB on August 20 won’t be possible and then it’s either tap the remainder of the funds in the EFSM (which would require still more discussions with the UK and other decidedly unwilling non-euro states) or risk losing ELA which would trigger the complete collapse of not only the economy but the banking sector and then, in short order, the government. And through it all, the PM is attempting to beat back a Syriza rebellion (which will only be exacerbated by the upcoming vote on the third set of measures) while convincing the opposition that he’s not secretly backing the very same Syriza rebels in their attempts to forcibly take the country back to the drachma.”

On Wednesday, Tsipras spoke out about the new bailout “deal”, debt re-profiling, the referendum, and party politics in an interview with Sto Kokkino radio station.

As Bloomberg reports, the Prime Minister “says that his mandate was to stop destruction of Greece [and that] things have changed” for the country and for Syriza. “The Greek people voted ‘no’ to a bad deal, they did not vote for an exit from the euro. Now some people are trying to manipulate the results,” he continued.

Tsipras went on to accuse creditors of not negotiating in good faith, noting that the “quartet” of institutions wasn’t independent. As for the referendum call, Tsipras says he “had no other choice” and that the plebiscite was “high risk.” As for abandoning the Greek “no” vote, Tsipras appears to have laid the blame at the foot of EU officials, saying it was “creditors [who] decided to shut down Greek banks” (the implication being that it was the bank closure and attendant economic pain which forced his hand in Brussels). Finally, the PM insists on playing up debt relief as something that was extracted from creditors during bailout talks (as opposed to something that was agreed to later once even Germany realized that without some manner of re-profiling, Greece’s situation was utterly hopeless). “We got a commitment for debt relief, which will take place after the first review of the program, in November,” the PM said. 

Here are a few more notable quotes from the interview:


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