Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras just released a pretty amazing statement, rebuking the creditors he’s trying to negotiate a bailout with.
The Financial Times’ Peter Spiegel has a copy of the statement.
Sunday night’s talks collapsed after less than 45 minutes, and Greece seems no closer to reaching an agreement to unlock the €7.2 billion ($US8.07 billion, £5.19 billion) in bailout cash it needs to make its upcoming debt payments.
Here’s the statement:
“One can only suspect political motives behind the fact that the institutions insist on further pension cuts, despite five years of pillaging via the memoranda. the Greek government has been negotiating with a specific plan and documented proposals. We will wait patiently til the institutions adhere to realism.”
Translation: No, the ball is in YOUR court.
These are not the words of a man who seems like he’s about the capitulate, and give up the last several years of his political life (and the objectives of pretty much his entire adult life) in the next few weeks or so.
It’s doubtful that the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and other eurozone countries agree that they have been “pillaging” Greece — and everything we’ve seen so far suggests that they will insist on the pension reforms and cuts that Tsipras is ruling out.
He goes on:
“Those who consider our sincere wish for a solution as well as our efforts to bridge the gap as a sign of weakness, should have in mind the following:
“We are not only carrying a historical past underlined with struggles.
“We are carrying our people’s dignity as well as the aspirations of all Europeans. We cannot ignore this responsibility. It is not a matter of ideological stubbornness. It has so do with democracy.”
It’s an extremely bold position, and if Tsipras sticks to it, it’s hard to see where a deal comes from. If he’s not willing to budge from his current position, this will come down to the question of who blinks first.