SYRIZA launches strong attack over bailout stance

The opposition SYRIZA party launched a strong attack against the government and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras in particular on Tuesday over the decision not to renegotiate elements of Greece’s loan agreement.

The leftist party’s spokesman, Panos Skourletis, suggested many voters’ worst fears had been realized by the government’s decision not to push Greece’s lenders to change the terms of the bailout, despite the three parties in the coalition promising to renegotiate the deal in their election campaigns.

“Mr Stournaras was faithful to his beliefs and did not challenge for any other path than the faithful implementation of the memorandum,” he said. “Our people forgive mistakes but they do not forgive lies.”

Rena Dourou, SYRIZA’s spokesperson for European affairs, said that Stournaras’s insistence that Greece would stick to the bailout terms when its economy is due to shrink by 7 percent and unemployment is approaching 23 percent “sounds not like a joke but like something bordering on an insult.”

The Independent Greeks and Communist parties were also highly critical of the government’s stance.

SYRIZA showed on Tuesday it intends to keep pressure on the government as it submitted an official proposal to Parliament to restore minimum wages to where they were prior to a 22 percent cut earlier this year and to scrap the law preventing collective contracts from applying even after they had expired.

There were also rumblings of discontent about the government’s strategy from PASOK, which issued a statement underlining that its leader, Evangelos Venizelos, had wanted the renegotiation to be based on Greece’s deteriorating macroeconomic figures so the country could be given at least two extra years to meet its fiscal targets. 

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