PM Tsipras: Program review will conclude without backing down on principles

Greece’s second program review will conclude without making concessions on issues of principle, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in parliament on Wednesday, during a debate on a parliamentary committee report which looked into bank loans received by political parties and media in recent years.

“What the IMF is requesting is beyond any economic and constitutional logic,’ he said. “Against the IMF’s irrational demands, we have numbers as our allies.”

Speaking to New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he said the government is not looking for MPs willing to vote for new measures.”All you care about is returning to power […] Who asked you to vote new measures? If we’re seeking a unified line it is to reject them on behalf of the Geek people and society, not to vote new ones,” he said.
He then criticized Mitsotakis for asking for elections. “Asking for elections before the review has concluded is either or recklessness or useful idiocy Mr. Mitsotakis,” he said. “We won’t abandon the Greek people in the hands of the willing.”

Commenting on the committee report, Tsipras said Justice will decide whether there are criminal responsibilities for politicians or ministers. “The committee report shows that the media owe the banks 1.3 billion euros. The largest part of those will never be returned,” he said. “New Democracy (ND) and PASOK have taken – from banks alone – 400 million euros. These loans were guaranteed by future state aid [granted to parties]. No banker wondered how these loans would be secured,” he added.

“How many millions did ND and PASOK stash into their secret funds and where did they end up?” he said, mentioned the bribes involving armament programs and the Siemens and Novartis cases. “It’s time for answers,” he said.