NEWS

Tsipras calls for referendum on Cypriot bailout

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras called on Wednesday for Cypriots to have a say on their future in a referendum, a proposal that drew the coalition government’s immediate condemnation.

“The Cypriot people and the people of Europe should have the final choice in deciding their futures,” said Tsipras, who has been highly critical of the government’s stance on Cyprus during the last two weeks.

“Mr Tsipras, with his irresponsible policies, believes that he can tell the Cypriot people what they should do,” said government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou.

Despite the friction between the government and SYRIZA over the issues, Tsipras appeared to be on the same wavelength with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday, when both politicians expressed concern about the implications of the Cypriot bailout.

“The Eurogroup’s decision represents a change of strategy that is symptomatic of the dead end the European leadership finds itself in, which is leading to self-destructive decisions for Southern European countries and the whole eurozone,” said Tsipras, who met with the leadership of the European Left in Athens.

Venizelos said the handling of the Cypriot crisis was tantamount to “bringing down the foundations of European integration and the common currency.” He added that it was wrong to blame just Germany. “France also fully supported the German position on these issues,” the PASOK leader said.