Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 
The feature you requested does not exist. However, we suggest the following feature:

Greek PM says on final stretch towards deal with lenders

05/23/2015 | 09:25am US/Eastern
Greek PM Tsipras delivers a speech at the annual conference of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises in Athens

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday his government was on the final stretch of negotiations with its international lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal that would not involve further pension cuts and harsh austerity.

After four months of talks with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund, Athens is scrambling for a deal that could release up to 7.2 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in remaining aid to avert bankruptcy as it remains shut out of bond markets.

Talks have stumbled over pensions, labour reform, fiscal targets and increases in value-added tax.

"We are on the final stretch of a painful and tough period shaped by the government's negotiations with the institutions," Tsipras, back from an EU summit in Riga, told his party's central committee.

Tsipras, who flew to Riga to press German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande for a political push to break the impasse, faces potential challenges from the hard-left faction in his Syriza party which opposes any deal that would involve further belt-tightening.

"Rest assured that in this negotiation we will not accept humiliating terms," Tsipras said. "The overwhelming majority of Greek people want a solution and not just an agreement ... it supports the government in this tough negotiation."

He lashed out at some lenders' representatives who, he said, were using his country's financial asphyxiation as a lever to undermine an accord reached on Feb. 20, under which Athens committed to present a new reform plan.

"We will not yield to irrational demands on VAT, pension and labour market issues when the architects of the most unsuccessful programme in the IMF's history of rescue programmes insist on extreme (measures) to not admit their failure," Tsipras said.

Athens has proposed VAT rates of 7, 14 and 22 percent in an effort to redistribute the tax impact and lighten the burden on lower income groups. But lenders want rates of 11 and 23 percent and are pressing for an increase in VAT on energy to 23 percent.

"We made steps to find common ground but we also have red lines," Tsipras said. "We have limits that the people's mandate, common sense and the country's need for growth oblige us to not violate."

He said Greece's EU/IMF bailout was not an economic mistake but a conscious choice by the domestic oligarchy, backed by the creditors, to load the burden of the debt crisis on pensioners, the self-employed middle class and small businesses.

"The recession was to a great extent desirable by its masterminds. We are trying to overturn this to enter a period of growth ... that will serve the interests of the social majority and will not undermine them to benefit the interests of an economic and political elite," he said.

Tsipras said a condition for achieving this was a viable deal with European lenders that was the product of mutual compromise.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

By George Georgiopoulos

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
09:25a Greek PM says on final stretch towards deal with lenders
09:15a HONDA MOTOR : Indy 500's 98th edition to open after week of accidents
09:09a JUMA TECHNOLOGY : Buhari Misses Pre-Inauguration Prayers, Jets Out to UK
09:07a VISION EYE INSTITUTE : Rated Next Jinja auditions: 16 get nod for nationals
09:04a The RIDE, LLC Launches a New Sightseeing Product of NYC
09:03a Automakers to reveal models covered by wider air bag recall
09:02a WAL MART STORES : Fair Trade For The Global Garment Industry
09:01a Southern Co buys 103-MW solar project in Georgia
09:01a ENTERGY : About 3,000 gallons of fluid spilled into Hudson river from reactor - Entergy
09:01a BABCOCK & WILCOX : More layoffs at Babcock & Wilcox in Lynchburg
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
AMUR MINERALS : Kun-Manie Production Licence Awarded
CTRIP : Expedia Announces eLong Transaction
HAVELOCK EUROPA : Looks to the Future of Manufacturing in Fife
MIKRON : visiting a great British dish and a national institution ; DRAMA
SOITEC : Frances Soitec to sell solar activities to ConcenSolar
Most Read News
05/22 SAJAN : Wrenching case of man dying in Austin hospital spurs feud over care
05/22 BLACKBERRY : cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses
05/22 ETSY : BRIEF: Amazon reportedly set to debut Etsy rival dubbed Handmade
05/22 SIMON PROPERTY : Officials: Whistle-blower in Simon Property Group theft case found dead
05/22 TELEFONICA : Landing of submarine fiber-optic cable in Puerto Rico delayed
Most recommended articles
09:25a Greek PM says on final stretch towards deal with lenders
08:41aDJU.S. Senate's Passage of Trade Legislation Good Signal for TPP -- Update
08:36a No Pacific trade deal meeting until U.S. fast-track passes - Chile
07:42a Greek PM says on final stretch toward deal with lenders
07:39a GERMANY'S MERCK EXPECTS DRUG DIVISION TO DRIVE GROWTH : Euro am Sonntag