Adjustment extension means ‘more rope to hang ourselves with,’ says opposition leader

Any extension to the fiscal adjustment period granted by Greece’s creditors would mean «more rope to hang ourselves with,» opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras told a press conference at the Thessaloniki International Fair on Sunday, adding that his party would be ready to govern «tomorrow morning» if the coalition government «confessed» that it could not.

The leader of the far-left SYRIZA suggested that should the government of New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras, PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left’s Fotis Kouvelis manage to pass through Parliament a package of cost-cutting measures worth 11.5 billion euros that it is currently negotiating with a team of inspectors from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — known collectively as the troika — it would not last very long.

«We are being led into a drawn-out ordeal,» Tsipras said. «The climate is changing, but for the worse and if the government does eventually succeed in passing the measures for 11.5 billion euros it will have little chance of longevity.»

The opposition leader suggested that Athens is looking for a «golden mean» with the troika by requesting a two-year extension to the period during which it has committed to implementing a series of painful cost-cutting and structural reform measures in exchange for bailout funding. «But all it will do is make the rope with which we hang ourselves longer,» Tsipras said.

«What is important to us is that we do not continue down the slippery slope of disaster,» Tsipras said.

Tsipras added that his party would be ready to govern the country «tomorrow morning,» but said that «the road will not be paved with a red carpet and rose petals,» adding that «no one will be saved by placing their hopes on SYRIZA to save them; we can all be saved together if we take our fates into our own hands,» he said, urging mass public protests against the planned measures.

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