ATHENS – Lawmakers in the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party said they are prepared for the government to relent on some of its campaign promises to get a deal with international lenders.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was elected on his promise to reverse austerity measures imposed by previous governments on orders of the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) but is expected instead to implement more.
If he doesn’t, Greece won’t get a long-delayed $7.2 billion ($8.1 billion) installment and faces default and a likely Eurozone exit as the country is almost bankrupt, leaving him with no options.
“It is a compromise; we are not hiding it,” said SYRIZA’s Parliamentary spokesman Nikos Filis of the ongoing talks. He said the the negotiations were “not planned in the most effective way.”
He said whatever deal Tsipras brings to Parliament – where he faces big ranks of disaffected party members who prefer a Eurozone exit – will get enough support to be passed, especially with so many rival parties eager to go along to save the country.
Labor Minister Panos Skourletis said, “I do not think the Prime Minister will bring an agreement which will be in danger of not passing through the current parliamentary group,” even if it breaks campaign pledges.
“Mr Tsipras knows very well what was in our manifesto, what we want to stand for and who we represent,” he said, without explaining how that would sit with broken promises.
SYRIZA’s Member of the European Parliament Costas Chrysogonos said that the government faces no choice but to back down from some of its demands and accept what lenders have put on the table.
“It’s not as if we’ve won a war against our lenders in order to impose conditions on them,” he said, acknowledging defeat for SYRIZA.
State Minister Alekos Flambouraris said he expects a deal is coming, as soon as June 18 as Greece otherwise can’t pay 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) due the IMF on June 30. He said he was still confident Greece would get debt relief although the troika rejected it out of hand.