Speaking defiant tone on Sunday evening, Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras showed no signs of backing away from the commitments and pledges he and his party made to the Greek people (and that so many staunch status-quo huggers believe he will back down from). Raging that Greece "won't take orders by email" any more, Tsipras warned "Greeks can't take any more disappointment, " and pointedly stated that Syriza "will make Greece economically autonomous," in about as strong a rejection of the EU's ultimatum as is possible by not requesting a bailout extension and exclaiming unequivocally, "we will keep our pre-election promises. This is non-negotiable." This is not just a Greek crisis but a European crisis "and the solution will be European."
- *TSIPRAS SAYS WILL BREAK OLIGARCHS' HOLD OF POWER IN GREECE
His speech began aggressively:
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GOVT WANTS GREEK PEOPLE TO REGAIN SOVEREIGNTY
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GREECE "WON'T TAKE ORDERS VIA EMAILS" ANY MORE
- *TSIPRAS SAYS AUSTERITY IS NOT AN EU RULE
- Tsipras "Winning back our sovereignty, restoring equal role in Europe, tackling humanitarian crisis are among our key targets"
- Tsipras "I am fully aware of difficulties and responsibilities"
- *TSIPRAS SAYS REBUILDING GREECE WILL TAKE YEARS
But then Tsipras appeared to take direct aim at Germany and the EU's demands...
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GOVT WILL MAKE GREECE ECONOMICALLY AUTONOMOUS
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GOVT WILL FIGHT TO GET OUT OF BAILOUT DEAD END
- *TSIPRAS SAYS WANTS TO NEGOTIATE TO MAKE DEBT SUSTAINABLE
- *TSIPRAS SAYS AUSTERITY WILL MAKE GREEK DEBT PROBLEM WORSE
- "We must build a new independent Greece which is equal to our partners in Europe."
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GREEK GOVT WILL FULLY IMPLEMENT ELECTION PLEDGES
- "We will keep our pre-election promises. This is non-negotiable."
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GREEKS CAN'T TAKE MORE DISAPPOINTMENT
- "We will put an end to presidential decrees and bring back respect for the constitution"
These seem about as strong a threat/promise as a leader can make that GREXIT is coming!
- *TSIPRAS SAYS GREEK GOVT HAS NEGOTIATING STRATEGY
- *TSIPRAS SAYS COMMITMENT IS TO SERVE INTERESTS OF GREEK PEOPLE
Then Tsipras takes aim at previous governmental decisions...
- *TSIPRAS SAYS THIS WILL BE GOVT THAT STAYS TRUE TO ITS WORD
- "The previous gov't wanted its successor, but also Greece, to fail. They forgot to account for Greek people"
- "The Greeks will take part in the negotiations - not just technocrats."
- "Our partners wanted 6-month extension of bailout but previous gov't demanded two months"
Finally he concluding, fire and brimstone exuding...
- "Things are difficult in Europe, but they are changing. Greece will play a leading role"
- "The problem is not just Greek - it is European - and the solution will be European"
- *TSIPRAS SAYS CRISIS NOT JUST GREEK, IS EUROPEAN CRISIS
- *TSIPRAS SAYS WON'T NEGOTIATE ON GREEK NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY
- *TSIPRAS: GREEK PEOPLE GAVE MANDATE TO END AUSTERITY, BAILOUT
He ends with his demands, clearly rejecting Europe's ultimatum by not asking for a bailout extension...
- *TSIPRAS: GREEK GOVT WON'T ASK FOR BAILOUT EXTENSION
- *TSIPRAS: GREEK GOVT HAS NO RIGHT TO ASK FOR BAILOUT EXTENSION
- "We want a bridging deal - until June - to give us a chance to kickstart development."
- "We're asking for bridge agreement until summer. Despite difficulties, this is possible"
- *TSIPRAS SAYS CONFIDENT GREECE CAN REACH AGREEMENT IN 15 DAYS
- Greek PM Alexis Tsipras says minimum wage will be raised to previous level of €751 but gradually until 2016
Here is Reuters' take:
Greek PM Tsipras says EU bailout failed, rejects extension
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday dismissed his country's European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout and said he would not ask EU leaders for an extension. But he said it was possible to negotiate a transitional agreement with lenders by the end of the month to tide Greece over until a new debt pact had been reached. "The bailout failed," he said in his first major speech to parliament as premier. "The new government is not justified in asking for an extension ... because it cannot ask for an extension of mistakes,"
Greece's current bailout expires on Feb. 28 and the EU wants Athens to apply for an extension, including the commitment to reforms. Greece has ruled that out, setting the stage for clashes in the coming week at an EU summit and finance ministers' meeting.
In Tsipras' own words:
We need an honest negotiation with our partners that does not condemn the greek economy and society to unending recession— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) February 8, 2015
Our government's slogan is: Democracy everywhere. Austerity did not just impoverish our people but it deprived them from the right to decide— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) February 8, 2015
We will move to implement the greatest institutional reform ever in the country, aiming to declare war against corruption and tax inequality— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) February 8, 2015
- Greece cannot back down (mandate is clear)
- Greece rejects bailout extension (implicit GREXIT unless EU backs down)
- Europe cannot afford repeat mistakes - will not humiliate one nation.
- Greece's first priority: humanitarian disaster