Greece: SYRIZA clashes with creditors — 'Let them try to over throw us'

Issue 
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with supporters.

“A high-ranking official close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Greek government is not planning to give in to its creditors’ pressures and go against the program they had promised to the Greek people who brought them to power,” GreekReporter.com said on April 16.

The comment came amid rising tensions between Greece's SYRIZA-led anti-austerity government and its creditors — the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Guardian reported on April 17: “Greece has been pushed a step closer to default and potential exit from the euro after one of its main lenders, the International Monetary Fund, all but ruled out allowing the cash-strapped country to delay repaying the €1bn [about $1.4 billion] due next month.

“The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said delaying the payments would be an unprecedented action that would only make the situation worse.”

GreekReporter.com said: “Greece’s creditors are asking for reforms that will bring more austerity to the country that already has more than half of its youth unemployed.

“The creditors are also asking for heavier taxation in sales, pension cuts up to 15% and cuts in public sector workers’ salaries, the government official said.”

Despite the conflict, Tsipras said on April 16 he was confident that Greece would reach an agreement with creditors by the end of the month, TeleSUR English said that day.

Tsipras told Reuters: “The Greek government is working hard on every individual aspect of the negotiations in order to reach a mutually beneficial solution … A compromise, which will respect the recent popular mandate as well as the euro zone's operational framework.”

But GreekReporter.com said: “The Greek government seems prepared to collide with creditors as negotiations continue to stall. The Greek side insists on the 'red lines' it has drawn on certain measures while creditors insist that Athens should proceed with required reforms before any further financial aid is released. Thereby an agreement seems unlikely.

“According to Greek government sources, creditors have declined most of the measures proposed by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis without offering any alternatives or making counter-proposals ...

“According to the same source, European partners have decided to push the Greek government to the wall until state coffers are empty and then drag the country to a deal under the threat of bankruptcy.

“'They know exactly how big our bank reserves are and when we are going to run out of liquidity. That’s what they are aiming at. They want to lead us to asphyxiation so that we cross all our red lines, especially in labour and social security laws, and sign whatever they want us to sign … There is no way we will do that. They should forget it.'

“The government official went on to say that the Tsipras administration is not planning a referendum or snap elections. ‘If they want to overthrow us, they have to do it themselves. We are not going to a referendum or elections … They cannot overthrow us through elections.’”

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