Tsipras defends policy decisions on bank recapitalization, migration

Tsipras defends policy decisions on bank recapitalization, migration

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras defended his government's policy decisions on the recapitalization of Greek banks and the migration crisis during a tense sessions in Parliament on Friday.

In a dig at hardline critics of Greece in the eurozone, Tsipras said the success of the recapitalization program has "disarmed those who wanted to blackmail Greece with a haircut to savers."

"I completely understand the bitterness of certain circles who perhaps were hoping for the failure of the bank recapitalization to bring back the scenario of Grexit," Tsipras said in what was widely regarded as a broadside against German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. 

The session in Parliament was marked by a fierce clash between Tsipras and prominent conservative MP Dora Bakoyannis who accused the current government of essentially selling off Greek banks. "With your actions and omissions, you allowed the Greek banking system to fall into the hands of those who you once described as market vultures," Bakoyannis said.

Bakoyannis also accused Tsipras of arrogance of the type no Greek premier has displayed to date.

Throwing back the accusation, Tsipras said he was entitled to some arrogance for becoming premier without belonging to a major Greek political family like Bakoyannis, whose father was premier.

On the ongoing refugee crisis, Tsipras told the House the country must not become a "warehouse for immigrants." Responding to a question by Vassilis Leventis, leader of the Union of Centrists, Tsipras hit out at European Union policy on migration, declaring that there can be no "Europe a la carte" with differing obligations and rights.

Tsipras admitted that Greek authorities were overwhelmed in summer with the size of the influx of migrants. But from September onward, he said the response by the police and the coast guard has been "excellent" and that now "there is not one refugee that is not being registered."