NEWS

Tsipras tells cabinet to hurry

tsipras-tells-cabinet-to-hurry

Before heading to New York for the 70th United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned his ministers on Friday that they have no time to waste in implementing the third bailout and other policies.

Tsipras chaired the first meeting of his cabinet since winning Sunday’s elections just hours before his trip to the US for the UN meeting, which lasts until Friday.

He set out three key priorities: quickly fulfilling what has been agreed with the lenders, finding equivalent measures in areas that are still under discussion, and applying policies that will help those worst affected by the crisis.

“We have in front of us the obligation to quickly implement what has been agreed,” said Tsipras, who added that completing the first bailout review promptly would allow Greece and its creditors to begin discussing debt relief.

Tsipras also spoke positively of some of the provisions in the bailout, saying that it would help the fight against tax evasion and undeclared labor, as well as promoting welcome changes in the public administration.

Tsipras is due to fly to New York on Saturday, where he is expected to have a brief conversation with US President Barack Obama at a dinner he will host ahead of the UN gathering. The two leaders spoke on the phone on Thursday. Tsipras is also expected to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly for talks expected to focus on the refugee crisis.

Tsipras has also been lined up as a speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual conference on Sunday.

The prime minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on his trip. Kotzias is due to meet with his counterparts from the US, Russia, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Kosovo, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Australia and Norway. He is also expected to hold talks with the UN’s mediator for the Cyprus issue, Espen Barth Eide, and with the secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Ameen Madani.

“On the margins of the General Assembly, a trilateral ministerial meeting between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt will be held to look at recent developments in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region and ways to strengthen trilateral cooperation on every level,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.