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Tsipras demands solution amid bailout request

July 8, 2015

Greece has formally applied for a third bailout from the European Stability Mechanism. The announcement has followed Greek PM Tsipras' address to the EU Parliament, in which he demanded a "viable" solution to the crisis.

Straßburg Frankreich EU Parlament Griechenland Krise Alexis Tsipras
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/V. Kessler

For the first time since assuming office in January, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Tsipras told the democratically-elected body that Greece demands a "viable" agreement with its neighbors that would signal its exit from the crisis.

"This is not a decision of breaking off negotiations…it is a return to the values of democracy," Tsipras said, referring to Sunday's referendum, which witnessed a vote of 61 percent against a proposal put forth by Greece's creditors, namely the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Greece formally submitted on Wednesday a request to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), considered Europe's bailout fund, for a third bailout.

The request comes amid a "final deadline" on Thursday put forth by EU Council President Donald Tusk. The Greek government is expected to provide a detailed proposal after Tuesday's Eurogroup brought to light a vague outline from Athens.

However, at the European Parliament, Tsipras seemed optimistic about a possible deal that, he said, needed to be socially and economically viable for Greece as well as Europe.

"We demand an agreement with our neighbors. But one which gives us a sign that we are on a long-lasting basis exiting from the crisis, which will demonstrate that there's light at the end of the tunnel," Tsipras said.

"I am confident that in the next two or three days we will be able to meet the obligations in the best interests of Greece and also the eurozone," Tsipras said

'Corruption' from previous governments

The prime minister also lashed out at Greece's former governments, which he said had created a "clientelistic" state and furthered "corruption."

Tsipras told parliament that 10 percent of Greeks owned 56 percent of the country's wealth, referencing a study conducted by Credit Suisse.

The prime minister added that the bailout funds never "trickled" down to the people, but instead helped the "economic elite."

'We are all responsible'

Prior to Tsipras' address, EU Council President Donald Tusk told the European Parliament that "everyone would lose" if the worst case scenario occurred, referencing the possibility of Greece's exit from the eurozone.

"I have no doubt that this will affect Europe, also in the geopolitical sense," Tusk said.

"We are all responsible for the crisis, and we are all responsible for solving it," Tusk added.

Following Tusk's statement, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reiterated the need to strengthen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

"In light of the crisis in Greece, in light of breeches of solidarity that we see across Europe, we have to apply the tenets of a monetary union and its deepening" amid the crisis, Juncker said.

ls/jil (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)