PM Tsipras: Greece will permanently exit the memorandum programmes in 2018

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis of supporting the views of “the most extreme circles” during the negotiations between the government and Greece’s lenders, during a debate on the prior actions agreed with the institutions.

“You support the most extreme circles among our lenders. You went to Berlin and instead of wearing the shirt of the national team, you wore the shirt of the IMF,” Tsipras told Mitsotakis in his reply to the latter’s speech.

He then said it is “a social, patriotic and leftist duty […] to lead the country out of the crisis, make it stand on its feet, and plan the new social and productive model.”

In his first adress to parliament, Tsipras said that by the time the European elections come around in May 2019, Greece will have exited the memorandum programme since 2018 and the positive measures will have already provided relief to hundreds of thousands of Greek households.

“The review is concluding and after seven whole years we are heading toward a comprehensive agreement to extricate the country from the memorandums. We are passing to a positive agenda for the country and society,” he said.

Replying to earlier criticism from Mitsotakis, he said ND’s leader had presented the same tired arguments and had “thrown away an opportunity to change narrative”.

“He brought nothing new to the arguments that he has been reproducing for some time, in spite of his supremacy in the systemic media. This supremacy is not enough because politics is more than communication. It also needs heart and mind,” Tsipras said.

“In 2019 when we face each other at the polls you will have been the leader of a party that for 3.5 years predicted and asked for elections and cutters and nothing happened,” he added.

ND’s arguments today were that the government is bringing a fourth memorandum and the positive measures are non-existent, Tsipras said. When it has become clear that we are heading toward the longed-for debt relief and are able to stand on our own two feet, exiting the memorandums, both ND and the media would change their tune, he added.

“Now you are not saying that we are destroying the country because we are not signing an agreement. Now we are destroying it because we have an agreement and you are trying to convince us that the austerity measures are more severe than the positive measures. Your logic is that if reality does not agree with you, that’s too bad for reality,” the prime minister said, addressing Mitsotakis.