by A. Makris – Feb 15, 2015
Greece does not need new bailout loans, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in an interview to German magazine “Stern” to be published on Thursday, and said he looks forward to a win-win situation in talks with the country’s creditors and Monday’s Eurogroup meeting.
The magazine followed Tsipras for two days in the Greek Parliament and at his office in the government headquarters for a feature story ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup meeting, and quoted him as saying he is open to dialogue and optimistic. “I support a solution where everyone WINS, a win-win solution,” said Tsipras, adding that “I want to save Greece from a tragedy and protect Europe from being split apart.”
Tsipras told journalists that “we do not need new bailout loans.” Following the cabinet meeting that began on Friday and ended in the early morning hours on Saturday, Tsipras said that “instead of MONEY, we need time to implement our reform plan; I promise you, Greece will be a different country in six months.”
Stern mentioned that the bailout program ends at the end of February, and if an agreement is not reached with its creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – Greece will face an economic collapse. It mentioned, among other things, that the social security system can hardly take care of the crisis victims, that 1.3 million people are without a job and hundreds of thousands do not have medical insurance.
The magazine said that Tsipras wants to deal with the crisis’ heaviest repercussions with a program that, according to his party SYRIZA, will cost 12 billion euros; the program will depend on the willingness of EU members, especially Germany, to reach a compromise.
Asked to comment on his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels, Tsipras said: “I met a polite human being. She is not as strict as one would expect from press reports.” She is a realistic politician who does not wish to jeopardize Europe’s future, he said. Speaking about the Eurogroup, where a decision regarding Greece’s fiscal program is expected to be finalized, Tsipras said that “Monday’s negotiation will be difficult, but I am optimistic – our power rests on the support of the Greek people.”