January 17, 2021



Tsipras calls for party referendum on bailout this Sunday

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday called for his Syriza party to hold an emergency congress next month to overcome divisions but said a snap party referendum would be acceptable if leftist dissenters wanted a quicker solution.

In a speech to Syriza’s central committee, Tsipras said a decision on the party’s strategy should not be made in a hurry but proposed a referendum on Sunday if needed.

“I propose to the central committee to hold an emergency congress to discuss being in power as leftists, our strategy in the face of bailout conditions,” he told the party.

“But there is another view, which is respected, that doesn’t accept the government’s analysis and believes there was an alternative available in the early morning hours of July 13,” Tsipras said, referring to the day he accepted the bailout agreement to avoid a Greek euro zone exit.

“If this is the case….then I suggest the party hold a referendum on this crucial question.”

The Greek PM speaking at the party’s 200-strong Central Committee took on party dissenters who accuse him of a sell-out to Greece’s creditors.

The deal with creditors was “not of our choice,” he said.

Greece faced the dilemma between a difficult compromise and disorderly default, he added.

Speaking in Athens Thursday Tsipras tried to defend Greece’s €86 billion bailout deal with the international creditors, saying that Grexit was not a choice.

It would have forced Athens into devaluation and going back to the IMF for support, he added.

“If someone believes another government could have brought back a better deal they should say so,” Kathimerini newspaper quoted Tsipras as saying.

The PM added that Syriza’s efforts had managed to stir up the EU.

“We created the first cracks in Europe’s neoliberal hegemony. We have to give a definitive answer on whether a leftist government can exist in a liberal, conservative Europe,” Tsipras said.

Reuters, Enikos.gr, Twitter

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