European Parliament president Martin Schulz said his faith in the Greek government had reached "rock bottom," and that he hopes it resigns after Sunday’s referendum.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged citizens to vote against European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout conditions in the plebiscite Sunday. Tsipras announced the balloting after talks with creditors broke down, leading Greece to default on a debt payment and stoking fears it could crash out of the euro.
Schulz on Thursday told German Handelsblatt business daily that "new elections would be necessary if the Greek people vote for the reform programme and thus for remaining in the eurozone and Tsipras, as a logical consequence, resigns."
The time between the departure of Tsipras’ hard-left SYRIZA party and new elections would have to "be bridged with a technocratic government, so that we can continue to negotiate," Schulz was quoted as saying.
"If this transitional government reaches a reasonable agreement with the creditors, then Syrizas time would be over," he said. "Then Greece has another chance."
Schulz charged that Tsipras was "unpredictable and manipulates the people of Greece, in a way which has almost demagogical traits."
"My faith in the willingness of the Greek government to negotiate has now reached rock bottom," he said Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Thursday the government "may very well" quit if the public went against it in Sunday’s plebiscite by voting for more austerity in return for international bailout funds. [AFP]