by Maria Spiliopoulou : –
ATHENS, May 15 (Xinhua) — Greece seeks an “honest and mutually beneficial” deal with international creditors to resolve the Greek debt crisis, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday as lengthy negotiations between the two sides on the terms continued.
“The agreement must undoubtedly be achieved. The key precondition is that it should be honest and mutually beneficial,” Tsipras stressed when delivering a speech at an economic forum in Athens.
Amidst persistent media reports that the debt-laden country was at the brink of a credit crunch in coming weeks, Tsipras assured that there was “no risk” for the payment of salaries, pensions and in general Greece’s financial obligations in the near future.
As Greek state coffers are drying up this spring with no international aid and the government has started making some concessions compared to pre-election promises, the leftist leader added that the Athens will not back down from the “red lines” it has drawn in talks.
Outlining his government’s vision for change in Greece and Europe 100 days after the national elections that brought his Radical Left party in office, Tsipras stressed that he received a clear mandate to change the austerity policy mix of recent years and restore social justice.
“This is the concept we are promoting for Europe,” he said.
Tsipras said that those who expect that his government will fail the test of stamina will be disappointed.
He called Greece’s interlocutors to drop “unreasonable demands” and Greeks to move forward with national consensus.
Tsipras set four main preconditions for the achievement of an agreement on a new reform plan in exchange of further international financing.
He underlined the “necessity” for reasonable primary budget surpluses and no more cuts on wages and pensions in order to allow some breathing space to recession-hit Greeks.
In addition, he urged for the start of a dialogue on the restructuring of the “unsustainable Greek debt load” and a strong public investment program, in particular in infrastructure works and new technologies.