Tsipras pledges growth, euro presence in FT op-ed

As campaigning enters the final straight ahead of crucial general elections on Sunday, the leader of leftist Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, insisted in an article in the Financial Times that his party is the «only political movement» capable of putting debt-wracked Greece back on its feet.

In an op-ed in the Financial Times that quotes US President Barack Obama and playwright Arthur Miller, the leader of leftist Syriza Alexis Tsipras pledged to keep Greece in the eurozone and restore growth. «Syriza is the only political movement in Greece today that can deliver economic, social and political stability for our country,» he wrote.

The leftist leader reiterated his intention to reject Greece's 130-billion-euro debt deal with international creditors and launch negotiations, claiming that this is in fact the will of all Greeks. «The people of Greece want to replace the failed old memorandum of understanding (as signed in March with the EU and International Monetary Fund) with a 'national plan for reconstruction and growth,'» he wrote.

Tsipras drew from an Obama speech last week -- «let?s do everything we can to grow now» -- to emphasize the need to balance austerity in Greece with growth-oriented measures. He also pledged to crack down on corruption, noting that Syriza does not have the «political baggage» of the more established parties that signed the bailout.

If elected the leftist party will focus on «stabilizing public expenditure at approximately 44 per cent of GDP and reorientating this expenditure to ensure it is well spent» as well as recapitalizing Greek banks, he said.

Paraphrasing Arthur Miller, Tsipras ended his op-ed by noting: «The basic illusion of good Greek government under the old regime of a two-party system has been exhausted."