Greek leader resents way creditors have behaved

Chris Papadopoullos
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insists Greece has cooperated fully in negotiations
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras launched a scathing tirade of criticism at the country’s creditors yesterday, accusing them of giving a false representation of negotiations and hitting out at their insistence that Greece stick to its austere path.

“The lack of an agreement so far is not due to the supposed intransigent, uncompromising and incomprehensible Greek stance,” Tsipras said.

“It is due to the insistence of certain institutional actors on submitting absurd proposals and displaying a total indifference to the recent democratic choice of the Greek people, despite the public admission of the three institutions the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) that necessary flexibility will be provided in order to respect the popular verdict,” he wrote in French newspaper Le Monde.

He warned that if Greece was made to follow the path of the previous government, it would mean “the complete abolition of democracy in Europe.”

Tsipras rejected claims the country has not proposed reforms, outlining a number of them that had been submitted in negotiations, which included less immediate austerity and raising public revenues from higher classes. He also said Greece had given way on privatisation, to which his communist party is strongly opposed.

Reforms to boost state coffers included “tax on very high profits, a tax on e-betting, the intensification of checks of bank account holders with large sums – tax evaders, measures for the collection of public sector arrears, a special luxury tax, and a tendering process for broadcasting and other licenses, which the Troika [ the institutions] coincidentally forgot about for the past five years.”

Despite Greek insistences last week, a deal was not reached at the weekend to grant the country bailout cash, an EC official told City A.M. Without this, it is feared Greece could miss a payment to the IMF of €300m (£214m) due this Friday.

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