ATHENS – SYRIZA Parliamentary spokesman Nikos Filis said Greece will not sign a deal with international lenders that includes more austerity even as the country is going broke.
Filis often is a mouthpiece for Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras as a way of reaching his party’s lawmakers. The coalition, which includes the Independent Greeks (ANEL) is locked in stalled talks with the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).
Tsipras refuses to break campaign promises to reverse tough conditions that came with 240 billion euros ($263.68 billion) in two bailouts since 2010, most of which has run out.
The troika is holding back a 7.2-billion ($7.9 billion) installment because Greece, since getting a four-month bailout extension on Feb. 20, has failed to come up with a credible list of reforms it promised.
Filis was the third party official in SYRIZA to balk at austerity amid reports Tsipras will bring a compromise before Parliament that includes bending on some campaign vows.
“If we’re talking about an ultimatum… which is not within the framework of the popular mandate, it is obvious that the government cannot co-sign and accept it,” he told Antenna TV.
SYRIZA officials, in a party with disparate elements, often make statements at odds with the Prime Minister or set policy through the media.
Labor Minister Panos Skourletis also said he would refuse to make more concessions in negotiations for a cash-for-reforms deal and said the troika, not Greece, has to give in.
“There is no room for more compromises. We are waiting for the other side to assume its responsibilities,” Skourletis told SKAI TV.
Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, usually a moderating voice, also said that the Greek government will not accept “any ultimatums” from troika.
“We will not submit to blackmail,” he told an Athens meeting of European United Left-Nordic Green Left on June 2 as EU leaders a day before held an emergency meeting on Greece.
“It is meaningless at this point to become embroiled in an aimless blame game, Dragasakis said. “Instead, we – the Prime Minister and the government – are focusing on achieving a just agreement.”