Former French president Francois Hollande claims in his new book, “Lessons on Power,” that he told Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after the referendum in the summer of 2015 that “you won, but Greece lost.”
Hollande said that after Greeks rejected a fresh round of austerity, he told Tsipras that those in the EU that favored a Greek exit from the euro were only emboldened.
He also revealed that soon after and while on a visit to Paris, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, raised, for the first time, the issue of a plan B with preparations for a Greek eurozone exit.
He added, however, that she proved an ally in the effort to keep Greece in the euro in the days after the referendum.
Tsipras, he said, called the referendum during negotiations for the third bailout so that he could regain the support of the people, “without yet knowing what to do with it.”
Tsipras signed up for a new bailout despite the result, earning the ire of his critics.