Athens, July 15, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
“I have not changed by system of values, I tried to find realistic solutions and do what is best for the country” Alexis Tsipras said in an interview on SKAI television, stressing that he was forced to compromise and accept agreements and contracts that may have some problems but secure jobs.
The prime minister rejected the notion that his negotiations were costly to the country, dismissing it as “nonsense”.
“The Samaras government had stopped negotiating six months before the election, because the agreement was non implementable” he mentioned, noting that the fifth review would never have ended.
Regarding the benefits of the review, he underlined that just by reducing the primary surplus targets for coming years that the government won, measures worth 20 billion euros were avoided.
“We put debt on the table” he also stressed regarding the negotiation, adding that the recapitalization of banks was estimated to cost 25 billion euros but cost 5.7 billion euros in the end.
He noted also that in the negotiation “there were many losses and wounds suffered by society which we must look at and heal”, however he appeared optimistic, stressing that for the first time in many years there is a real prospect of growth, not fictional as in the Samaras era.
He emphasized that those who criticize the government compare a hypothetical situation; they compare predictions to results.
“There is talk at a coffee shop and there is talking with hard figures” he stressed.
“Predictions are easy, but we judge actions” he added, stressing that “for 2011 recession was at 7%, in 2012 1.1% growth was estimated and in the end there was 6.6% recession and in 2013 the predicition was for 2.1% growth but recession finally stood at 3.3%”, he added.
That means they were 17.5% of GDP off the mark, he stressed and added that in the above period there was tremendous degrowth and that since 2008 a total of 25% of GDP was lost. He added that today the primary surplus is 1% above the 2015 target despite it being an election and referendum year.
In the Samaras era the primary surplus stood at 0.25%.
“We must understand the causes that brought us here. The question is why we are in need to borrow? Why did we not capitalize on the growth period to build a competitive economy, and why was a protective net not put in place for the poorest people when we were busy organizing Olympic games?” he noted.
The Prime Minister announced the direct election of the President of the Republic by the people.
At the same time, he supported the strengthening of his powers.
“I think it is something that people want. We can’t elect a mayor or local leader and be deprived of a vote on the President of the Republic” he stressed in the interview with Alexis Papahelas.
“We will examine the powers in the context of the constitutional review” he noted.
Asked about the review, he stressed that the aim is to strengthen the people factor and popular will and to remedy disorders such as the law on the liability of ministers which has be criticized the most.
He stressed that the “institutionally correct procedure is for all of us to agree on a simple proportional representation system together” and that it is fair to remove the 50 seat bonus.
Asked about the so-called Plan X, he said that in the critical days of negotiation with European partners, there were steps made to secure financial support from Russia and China, but it did not go ahead because the goal was to keep Greece in the EU.
Finally, Tsipras appeared optimistic about the state of the economy and for the upcoming negotiations on labor relations, saying the government will survive without many losses suffered.