Greece will seek ‘mutually beneficial, fair’ EU deal: PM

Greece will seek ‘mutually beneficial, fair’ EU deal: PM

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greece will seek ‘mutually beneficial, fair’ EU deal: PM

Greece’s newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras led the first cabinet meeting of his government at parliament in Athens on Jan. 28. AP photo

Greece will seek a “fair, mutually beneficial” deal with its EU creditors on renegotiating its multi-billion bailout and huge debt, newly-elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Jan 28.

Among Greece’s priorities is “a new renegotiation with its peers in search of a viable, fair, mutually beneficial solution,” Tsipras said at his cabinet’s inaugural meeting.

The 40-year-old premier added that his administration was one of “national salvation” that was ready to “bleed” to restore his nation’s battered dignity.

The new left-wing government that stormed to power in Jan. 25’s general elections insists that recession-hit Greece cannot recover without a generous debt reduction and an end to austerity cuts.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel yesterday urged the new government in Greece to show “fairness” to fellow citizens in Germany and Europe who have helped bail out the crisis-ridden country.

Athens “should show some fairness to the people in Germany and the eurozone who have demonstrated solidarity” towards Greece, Gabriel told reporters after Greece’s radical new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned that it would no longer blindly submit to the EU and demanded a “fair” deal with its creditors.

“Our aim must be to keep Greece in the eurozone,” Gabriel said. “But there must be fairness towards our own population,” he continued. “Greece cannot simply pick and choose what it does and does not want to do and expect its neighbours to step into the breach,” Gabriel insisted. 

Greece’s looming clashes with the EU started with a EU statement on Russia sanctions, even before the new cabinet was sworn in.

Tsipras distanced himself from a threat by EU leaders to impose further sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, saying Athens was not consulted about the warning. In a statement two days after the elections, He accused EU leaders of failing to consult his government on a joint declaration on Jan. 27 accusing Russia of “growing support” to separatists in Ukraine’s east.