In an interview that was published today by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must explain to the Greek people that not all of his pre-election promises can be kept.
Underlining that the national elections of one country cannot change the existing agreements with the European Union, Juncker noted that the PM has taken a fundamental step, by starting to assume responsibility for his government’s actions.
“However, he now faces the following problem: He has to explain that some of his election campaign promises cannot be kept,” the EC head added.
“He raised the right questions, but never provided answers for them,” Juncker said for Tsipras, noting that, with regard to Greece and its program, there are 19 public opinions that count in the Eurozone.
Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem also stated in an interview with a Dutch TV network that the Greek government won the elections with promises they cannot keep.
“There’s a lot of rhetoric in Greece,” the Eurogroup president said, expressing his frustration with the Greek Government for not proceeding with the reforms quickly enough.
“They won the election by making many promises which they have no financial ability to keep,” Dijsselbloem said, adding that there is still much to be done.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also sent out a stern message to the Greek Government on Wednesday, keeping to his hard-line stance on the Greek debt issue.
In an interview with a German newspaper, the German FinMin underlined that before any further financial aid can be disbursed for Greece, the Greek government must prove that it has fulfilled the conditions of its bailout program.
“Athens has to prove that it has fulfilled the agreed conditions, before any further finds can be disbursed” Schaeuble underlined, adding that “how long Greece needs to fulfill the terms” is up to the Greek government.
Schaeuble also warned the Greek Finance Minister against trying to change the terms of the current agreement, stating that if Yanis Varoufakis “declares that the Eurogroup’s agreement with Greece is unclear, he will do so against his better judgment.”