New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is laying out his radical left-wing government’s policies in a speech this afternoon. During his talk he is expected to firmly reject any more forced austerity measures by Greece’s eurozone partners.
When he takes the podium in his first official talk as Greek PM he is expected to repeat what the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) has been saying all along, rejecting any more bailout money and expressing the desire to renogiate Greece’s debt deal.
Greece is also going to call for a “bridge agreement” to tide the country over until a new pact is sealed as part of his 5-point plan.
Government sources said negotiations with eurozone partners and other institutional creditors would focus on five points:
* the two sides should commit to avoiding unilateral action (making it clear that the Greek side, in the case of non-agreement, would consider it possible to examine options independently and move unilaterally).
* a three-month “bridge deal” is needed so that the leftist government has time to negotiate with international creditors, but this agreement would not burden taxpayers of other European countries.
* The Greek side wants to use a) 1.9 billion euros from profits of Greek bonds that are being held, b) T-bills beyond the limit of 15 billion euros.
* a “bridge deal” would run until June, and the Greek government is willing to agree to a 4-year program without the type of supervision imposed by the troika of international creditors (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund). Instead, the program would have commitments in terms of public finances, such as the goal of a primary budget surplus and restructuring of expenditures.
* during negotiations, the Greek side will take specific measures to curb tax evasion and corruption.
The second part of Tsipras’ speech is expected to showcase his government’s social and fiscal policy over the longer term. It is likely that he will repeat pre-election pledges that his government appears intent on keeping, such as a rise in the minimum wage and free electricity for poorer Greeks.
EU leaders who have not been willing to meet Tsipras’ demands for fear that Greece will backtrack on painful reforms are going to be carefully monitoring his speech. The current bailout expires on February 28 with most lenders calling on the new government to apply for an extension, something that SYRIZA staunchly opposes.
watch the speach live using following link: https://parltv.live.grnet.gr/webtv/