ND blasts minister over bailout ignorance

Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis was labeled “irresponsible” by his PASOK party’s coalition partner, New Democracy, on Tuesday after he admitted in a television interview that he did not take the time to read the content of Greece’s loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010, when he was also a cabinet member. Speaking to Skai TV, Chrysochoidis said that he was too busy at the time with his duties as citizens’ protection minister to read the text of the agreement, also known as the memorandum. “I did not read the memorandum, I had other obligations and responsibilities,” said the minister.

“As citizens’ protection minister, I had to tackle crime. I did not have time to study the memorandum.” Chrysochoidis, who was the first minister to declare his intention to challenge for the PASOK leadership, has recently been critical of the terms of the memorandum, arguing that the austerity measures compounded Greece’s economic problems. New Democracy spokesman Yiannis Michelakis said that Chrysochoidis’s admission that he did not study the text of the loan agreement, signed in May 2010, displayed “nerve, irresponsibility and dangerous views.”

“Clearly, he was not the only case,” said Michelakis. Meanwhile, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras launched a stinging attack on the EU-IMF loan agreement.

“The memorandum has been a success,” he told his party’s MPs. “Its aim was to achieve an internal devaluation, to impoverish the Greek people, to reduce wages, to abolish labor rights and to destroy state social care,” he said.


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