Tsipras at Sciences Po: European economic policy has to focus on growth

Greece’s public debt is sustainable, even under conservative estimates, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said while speaking at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), where an event was held on Wednesday to launch the new chair of Sovereign Debt.

The main opposition leader was invited by Sciences Po’s dean and former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta and spoke at the main event titled ‘A Lesson from Greece: Conversation with Alexis Tsipras,’ where he was introduced by Sciences Po President Frederic Mion.

Tsipras said that making Greece’s national debt sustainable again was one of his government’s biggest successes, then he criticized the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for wanting to, as he said, enforce an economic policy which “combined austerity with an EU veto on the prospect of a substantial debt write-off.”

He added how what he called the “Greek experience” revealed “the great weaknesses of the EU and the eurozone.”

Tsipras said it has to be historically acknowledged that the EU did provide a great deal of financial support to Greece, but this support “came at a huge social and economic cost and with conditionalities that hampered a rapid recovery.”

Alexis Tsipras finally stressed that the possibility of public debt remains open across Europe, especially if European policy does not focus on growth, and said he favors changing the dominant paradigm in the direction of a “sincere, genuine European solidarity.” He highlighted that in this common European policy “the growth aspect must be part of it.”