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Tsipras: 'Greece must quickly implement bailout'

September 25, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said the country quickly needs to enforce economic reforms. Tsipras won snap elections earlier this week after signing up for a third aid package with international creditors.

Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/T. Stavrakis

Speaking at his first cabinet meeting since Sunday's election, Tsipras said, "We face the obligation to quickly implement what has been agreed." He told his ministers that he hoped to have Greece out of the crisis by the end of his four-year term.

"We are aware of the difficult points of the deal…we know how to find the right antidote where there are side effects," Tsipras said on Friday.

His strategies included addressing debt restructuring, which would "make our economy once again attractive to investors" and a recapitalization of Greece banks, which "if done correctly, can give our economy badly needed liquidity," Tsipras told his ministers.

Greece's previous government, also led by Tsipras, agreed to a tough set of reforms in August, including ending tax breaks, pension and labor reforms and privatizations, in return for a loan of 86 billion euros ($96 billion) from the EU. Around 25 billion euros have been set aside to strengthen the capital of banks that have suffered from deposit flight over the past six years.

Tsipras also addressed the refugee crisis, which has particularly impacted the Greek islands of Kos and Lesbos, which have become main points of entry into Europe for migrants fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

"We have to decide what Europe we want…Do we want a Europe of solidarity or one which throws teargas showing people its hard side?" Tsipras asked.

The leftist leader resumed his role as prime minister after his Syriza party won 145 out of 300 parliamentary seats in Sunday's elections. However, he faces the daunting task of getting his country's economy back on track, dealing with his debtors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) and overcoming fallouts of the refugee crisis.

mg/sms (AFP, Reuters, AP)