Greece needs more reforms, Tsipras tells FT
In an interview with the Financial Times, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has expressed his conviction that his leftist SYRIZA will prevail in upcoming elections. which he suggested would happen in October as scheduled despite swirling rumors of snap polls, while also admitting that Greece needs more reforms.
“Every day that passes I think people understand in their lives how the situation has changed,” Tsipras told the FT.
"Waiting is a benefit for me because sometimes there is a delay between… crucial decisions and [when] people recognize the changes, especially in the economy," he said, adding that, "I think that now people are starting to see the benefits of the recovery."
The article points out, however that all polls put SYRIZA behind conservative New Democracy, some by as much as 10 percentage points.
“I’m not thinking about losing the election, I’m thinking about how to win the election,” he said. “There is a saying: if the soldier goes off to battle in order to lose, it’s better not to go to the fight," he added.
During the interview, Tsipras also refers to Greece's deal with what is now North Macedonia, referring to a conversation he had had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the subject.
“I said, ‘My opinion is different. My view is that Greece will only benefit if we manage to solve disputes with our northern neighbors," he said. "Greece has enough differences with its neighbors to the east — we don’t need more problems with our northern neighbors, especially if they are countries that I believe are not threatening to Greece.’
On the subject of foreign investments, Tsipras defended his government's record, conceding however that drawn-out legal procedures "are sometimes an anti-incentive."
He admitted that more reforms are necessary.
“Of course I recognize that there are still problems, that we have to [make] more reforms — and reforms are like a bicycle: if you don’t [make] them you fall down,” he said.