NEWS

Tsipras clarifies stance on memorandum

A few days after suggesting he favored a “suspension” rather cancellation of Greece’s bailout terms, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras attempted on Thursday to clear up any confusion.

“Everyone knows that a SYRIZA government and the memorandum are two entities that cannot coexist,” Tsipras told a group of Greek businessmen. “The memorandum will be over the same night that the Greek people gives us a big majority and clear mandate.”

On Tuesday, Tsipras had suggested that a SYRIZA government would seek to “suspend” the implementation of the EU-IMF memorandum, which marked a significant softening of the party’s longstanding position of blanket rejection of the troika’s terms.

This prompted a number of SYRIZA lawmakers to spend the last few days attempting to publicly explain the shift in language. Most attributed the confusion to the leftist leader simply using the wrong word to express his position.

The discrepancy has left SYRIZA open to criticism from opponents. PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos was the latest to attack Tsipras, declaring his promise of scrapping the memorandum as unrealistic. “SYRIZA is creating a false impression that it’s a deus ex machina,” he said. “Tsipras is having difficulty forming a clear position that is not contradictory.”

Venizelos also suggested SYRIZA was banking on being in power after the toughest austerity measures had been implemented this year and next.