Greek PM Tsipras: Reform on our own terms | News | DW | 11.02.2015
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Greek PM Tsipras: Reform on our own terms

Ahead of emergency eurozone talks, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has refused to bend on his country's demand of renegotiating a bailout. The solution for Greece must come from Greece, he has said.

Greece's new left-wing government is committed to implementing reforms, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday, provided that it is Athens and not outsiders who make them.

"This isn't someone from abroad coming here and telling us what to do," Tsipras reassured Greeks upset at what they perceive as too much German and EU intervention in their country.

The Greek leader gave a press conference with Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is working with the Greek government to overhaul the cost-cutting measures imposed by bailout creditors.

The new program will be based "not on what was previously decided but on popular mandate," Tsipras told the press. He added that it would be anchored in the government policies presented to parliament on Sunday, which would break down some of the bailout conditions if implemented.

Gurria said the OECD was "here to work with and for Greece," adding: "Our message is, count on the OECD to implement your program."

Schäuble: 'It's over'

Their comments came hours before an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, where they will discuss the Greek government's demands to restructure debts, which amount to 240 billion euros ($270 billion). Greece will plead its case for a 10-point plan meant to overhaul 30 percent of its debt and clinch a reform deal that will not exacerbate poverty and unemployment.

On Tuesday, Tsipras said there is "no way back" for his government in its quest to rewrite the bailout terms.

His government will face a tough battle with its eurozone counterparts, however, as the biggest and most influential creditor, Germany, has taken a hard line on the talks. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told reporters "it's over" for Greece if they refuse to stick to the current terms of their aid package.

"No matter how much Schäuble asks for it, we are not going to ask to extend the bailout," said Tsipras.

es/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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