On the eve of today’s parliamentary vote on painful reform legislation stipulated by Greece’s creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has defended the bailout deal struck at this week’s emergency eurozone summit.
Taking to two Greek journalists from his office, Alexis Tsipras said:
“The night of the deal was a bad night for Europe. The result of the EU summit and the Eurogroup was one of harsh pressure having been placed on the country and a people that had democratically expressed their will.”
He went on to say : “I am telling you that I undertake my responsibilities for errors or omissions and it is my responsibility that I signed a text I do not believe in however I am obliged to implement this text, I shall not shirk from my duties.”
The measures being put before parliament include VAT and pension reforms and must be passed before midnight tonight (Wednesday). Eurozone leaders see it as a first step towards rebuilding trust with Athens and only then will Greek banks get an urgent injection of cash.
Although Tsipras is facing dissent within his own party he needs 151 of 300 lawmakers to pass the reforms and with the votes of his own Syriza party and allies he has, theoretically, 162.
However several lawmakers in his leftist party are threatening to break ranks.
A poll on Tuesday said some 51.5 percent of Greeks believe the bailout deal the country clinched with lenders is positive and a higher percentage thinks the country’s parliament should approve it.