PASOK chief accuses government of taking ‘steps back’

PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday accused the SYRIZA-led government of taking “steps back” in its reform proposal to international creditors, saying that “the Greek government is being forced to write the memorandum in its own hand.”

The Socialist leader made his remarks after a visit to outgoing President Karolos Papoulias. He expressed his “regret” that the country “is taking so many steps back.”

“Just as we were about to leave the memorandum behind and receive a precautionary credit line with much more comfortable terms, we will now be stuck for months with the old memorandum and be preparing for a third memorandum as of July,” said Venizelos, whose party was the junior coalition partner in the previous administration.

The former finance minister’s comments came hours after the newly elected Greek government presented the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund with a list of proposals it hopes will earn it an extension under the current bailout program to renegotiate the agreement’s terms and seek a debt writedown.

The leftist government has “conceded” so far on its pre-election promises, said Venizelos, that “it is being forced to write the memorandum in its own hand.”

“It’s not them [the creditors] who are writing it and sending it to us for approval; the added punishment is that the Greek government has to draft it and then correct it itself,” Venizelos said.