[Marxism] Tsipras expects Greece/Eurozone bargain; will use referendum if deal breaks Syriza election mandate

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 15:17:18 MDT 2015

"In his first major television interview[3 hours] since he was elected
in January, Tsipras said he believed an initial deal was close and
ruled out an early election in Greece. Tsipras also raised the
prospect of holding a referendum if creditors demanded reforms that
his government deemed unacceptable."
International Business Times, April 28

Sidelining Varoufakis Won’t Solve Greece’s Real Problem
by John Cassidy
The New Yorker

Tsipras Signals Possible Greek Referendum on Credit Deal
by Niki Kitsantonis
New York Times, APRIL 28, 2015

Nouriel Roubini on Greece/Eurogroup situation

Tsipras warns of referendum if talks on bailout deal fail
by Kerin Hope in Athens
Financial Times, April 28 [full text]

Greece’s leftwing prime minister has warned that he would hold a
referendum if international creditors insisted on a “vicious circle of
austerity” as the key to unlocking urgently needed bailout money.

Hours after making a conciliatory gesture to Greece’s eurozone
partners with a reshuffle of his negotiating team on Monday, Alexis
Tsipras struck a more defiant note.

Although there were “great possibilities for winning this
negotiation”, Mr Tsipras said he would go directly to the Greek people
if the terms were unacceptable to Athens. “If the solution offered
goes beyond our mandate, it will have to be endorsed by the people,”
he said in a late night interview with Star Television.

Expressing his confidence a deal would be reached, Mr Tsipras said:
“We should not give in to panic moves. Whoever gets scared in this
game loses.”

Mr Tsipras ruled out defaulting on a €750m loan repayment to the
International Monetary Fund due on May 12 even though Athens is
struggling this week to pay pensions and subsidies, which he said must
take priority.

Greek officials have been predicting an imminent deal for weeks and
many EU negotiators are sceptical an agreement can be reached before
the next scheduled meeting of eurozone finance ministers in two weeks.

A referendum could lead to weeks of continued uncertainty about
Greece’s solvency. A plan by Athens to hold a plebiscite in 2011 was
effectively scuppered by eurozone leaders. But some officials also
believe it could be a way for Mr Tsipras to win public support for an
eventual reform programme.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who leads the Greek
negotiations as head of the eurogroup, said he did not think a
referendum was a feasible option for Mr Tsipras given the urgent need
for a deal so that bailout cash can be disbursed soon.

“It would cost money, it would create great political uncertainty, and
I don’t think we have the time,” Mr Dijsselbloem told Dutch radio.
“And I don’t think the Greeks have the time for it.”

Earlier on Monday Mr Tsipras put Euclid Tsakalotos, the deputy foreign
minister for economic affairs and a close associate, in charge of the
bailout negotiations, which have made little progress since his
radical Syriza party won a general election in January on an
anti-austerity platform.

Mr Tsakalotos has taken the lead role in the talks from Yanis
Varoufakis, the outspoken finance minister who was sidelined after an
acrimonious meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga last week.
Mr Varoufakis retained his cabinet post and will serve on an
economic-policy making committee.

Eurozone policy makers welcomed the reining in of Mr Varoufakis, but
warned Athens that what mattered was the detail of its proposals.

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