Greece debt deal: Alexis Tsipras says difficulties lie ahead

Joe Hall
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Alexis Tsipras spoke to the Greek public for the first time following the loan extension deal. (Source: Getty)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said the country won a significant battle at the negotiating table with the Eurogroup, after agreeing a four month extension on Greece’s loans.
In his first public reaction to the deal agreed on Friday, Tsipras insisted his anti-austerity government had taken a “decisive step” that had “achieved a lot.”
The deal has ended primary surpluses demanded by lenders, yet Tsipras is likely to face criticism from within his own Syriza party after Athens was forced to make a number of concessions on its demands.
Before the deal was agreed, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said it had gone “not an extra mile, but an extra 10 miles” in hope of finding a compromise.
Greece must now submit a list of reforms to its creditors at the EU and the IMF by Monday. The list must be approved before the bailout extension is ratified on Tuesday, failure to win approval would once again raise fears of a Greek exit from the Eurozone.
The Greek prime minister said:
Yesterday we won the battle, but not the war.
The difficulties, the real difficulties, not only those related to our negotiation and our relationship with our partners are ahead. Yesterday, we took a decisive step to leaving austerity, the bailout deal and the troika behind us. A decisive step to change direction within the Eurozone.
The negotiation is now entering a new, more substantive stage until a final agreement on the transition from the disaster of the bailout austerity measures, to policies of employment, development and social cohesion.

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