Spain, Portugal sought to trip up gov’t, Tsipras says

Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday accused governments in Spain and Portugal of working with the conservative opposition at home in a bid to weaken, or even topple, his anti-austerity administration.

Addressing SYRIZA’s central committee on Saturday, Tsipras said that Madrid and Lisbon officials had sided against Athens during negotiations on February 20 that led to a four-month extension of the country’s loan deal.

“We were up against an axis of powers led by Spain and Portugal, which for obvious political reasons sought to lead the whole negotiation to the brink,” Tsipras said.

“Their plan was, and it remains, to wear down, topple or bring our government to unconditional surrender before our work starts to yield fruit and before the Greek example affects other countries,” he said. Both Mediterranean countries will hold elections this year.

Tsipras said that the reaction of the European People’s Party (EPP), of which New Democracy is a member, had shown that Greece’s main conservative opposition was an “accomplice” and “executive arm” in the anti-SYRIZA campaign.

ND chief Antonis Samaras hit back at the allegations.

“[Tsipras] creates imaginary enemies in order to justify his own lies and deadlocks,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “He should be ashamed.”