In an interview with The Guardian, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras admitted to making "mistakes… big mistakes,” noting that his biggest error may have been “the choice of people in key posts," an apparent reference to former finance minister and maverick economist Yanis Varoufakis.
Varoufakis's alternative plan for the Greek economy, which has caused a political storm since emerging in detail in the former minister's latest book, was dismissed by Tsipras as “so vague, it wasn’t even worth talking about.” "It was simply weak and ineffective."
“When I came into this office, I had no experience, or sense, of how big the day-to-day difficulties would be,” Tsipras said. “I think, now, I have a very different picture from the one I had initially.”
But Tsipras sought to strike a positive tone, claiming that the worst is behind Greeks and they can look forward to better times.
“We can now say with certainty that the economy is on the up... slowly, slowly, what nobody believed could happen, will happen," he said. "We will extract the country from the crisis... and in the end that will be judged."
“The big breakthrough," he said, will come in August 2018. "After eight years, we’ll emerge from the program and international oversight," he said, referring to Greece's third bailout.
"In the negative climate that prevails today, it is something the average Greek still doesn’t quite believe.”