NEWS

Gov?t risks Greek euro exit, says Tsipras

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday urged the government to reject the austerity measures being demanded by its troika of lenders as they would ensure Greece?s exit from the eurozone and would ?write the last chapter? in the country?s history under the loan agreement, or memorandum.

Speaking to the leftists party?s MPs, Tsipras referred to articles in the international media over the weekend suggesting that loans to Greece could be stopped and called on the leaders of the three parties in the governing coalition to demand an immediate European Union summit ?where they will look with the other leaders for a new strategic plan to tackle the Greek situation.?

Tsipras was adamant that the responsibility for a euro exit should not fall on Greek shoulders and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel should state clearly whether this is Berlin?s wish. ?If this is what Mrs Merkel wants, we should make her tell us herself, not via Mr [Poul] Thomsen [who heads the International Monetary Fund team in Greece],? said Tsipras. ?It is criminal that the government should share blame for this failure.?

The SYRIZA leader attacked the coalition over its stance on the dispute between striking workers and management at the Halyvourgia steel plant and accused it of trying to carve up troubled state-owned lender ATEbank in such a way that it would cover up politicians? corrupt practices in the past.

Tsipras asked SYRIZA MPs to give up an extra 20 percent of their salaries for good causes. The deputies already give 20 percent of what they earn to the party.

Meanwhile, PASOK?s new political and organizational committees are due to meet Tuesday and Wednesday to begin overhauling the party?s structure and image. New Democracy is due to elect a new secretary on Thursday.

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