Tsipras: Enough with austerity – I do not feel a noose around my neck

Tsipras: Enough with austerity – I do not feel a noose around my neck

Athens, March 13, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The government aims to break the chronic pathogenesis of Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said speaking at a joint news conference with President of the OECD Angel Gurria, following the signing of a cooperation agreement for the provision by the OECD of the necessary technical assistance to implement reforms effectively.

Tsipras spoke of a new period in the relations between Greece and OECD, for a sincere cooperation for development, for the prosperity of the Greek people.

The government said the Prime Minister is committed to reforms that will consolidate social change. The reforms to be implemented in cooperation with the OECD, will result in the consolidation of social change, hurting big interests that create monopolies or cartels in the economy, hitting tax evasion and tax avoidance.

“Today we opened a reform chapter for Greece”, Tsipras said, noting: “No one forces us to do the reforms, we want to do them”.

“Enough with austerity”, said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after his meeting with OECD Chairman Angel Gurria, and he added: “I don’t feel like I have a noose around my neck”.

Referring to the agreement with the OECD, he said the programme will promote reforms in the direction of social justice and economic growth, not austerity and social deregulation, as in the past.

Asked about the release of the installments, the Greek PM said: “Right now there is a negotiation in progress. One of the shortcomings was that there wasn’t a clear reference to financing. We do what we must, we are honest. There is no reason for concern, even if there is no disbursement, Greece will meet its obligations. However, if the installment is not paid, it will mean in the agreement there is someone who promotes it and someone who wants to undermining it”.

“There is mutual suspicion with partners and that is why we are here”, admitted the Prime Minister, adding that “there is suspicion that Greece doesn’t really want reforms. We are here to authenticate our will through the OECD”.

Tsipras added further that in the last four years we saw blackmail on the part of the troika that “if we do not reduce pensions and salaries, if redundancies are not made, there will be no disbursement. I never saw blackmail for structural reforms in the administration of justice or the abolition of the triangular trade. So, the main difference between the previous programs and the current one is that the latter is aimed at internal devaluation rather than structural change”.

Asked about whether the partners have put a “noose” at the neck of the greek economy, he said: “We are in a negotiation process to implement the agreement of the Eurogroup. I think discussions are on track to implement the decision, so that, if implemented early and quickly, to stabilise the situation in Greece. I do not feel I have a noose around my neck”.

For his part, Gurris said they have signed a joint cooperation document, which includes transparency issues, employment, strengthening of competition and anti-trust.

He also noted that the government of Greece has provided the context for reforms and that they will make the decision on what reforms will eventually be implemented in the country.

He further said that in the near future will be cooperation between the Organisation and the Greek government.

The agreement with the OECD

Agreement by which the OECD undertakes to give expertise to the Greek side, regarding the design and implementation of reforms, signed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the Secretary General of the Organization, Angel Gurria, at the meeting they had in Paris yesterday.

Sources report Maximou say that the agreement relates to reforms that are a priority of the Greek government and are “aimed at the sustainability and economic recovery, but also in addressing the humanitarian crisis Greece is facing”.

Government sources also report that the cooperation with the OECD in the short-term “aims at deepening reforms in more detail and note that over the long-term they will help the Greek side to implement and evaluate not only the progress of the reforms but also their performance”.