ATHENS – As it moves toward a compromise with international lenders over debt, Greece’s new government said it won’t turn over the keys to the country to them.
Gavriil Sakellaridis, spokesman for the Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition government told SKAI TV there will be an earnest effort to find a compromise with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) but that it would not “offend the sovereignty of the nation and of the people.”
“We will do whatever we can so that a deal is found on Monday,” Sakellaridis said of the pending Feb, 16 meeting in Brussels with Eurozone officials anxious to work out a deal over how Greece will hold the line with reforms attached to its two bailouts of 240 billion euros ($272 billion) while the government want to keep its promises for social benefits.
Sakellarides said discussions on technical issues would begin on Feb. 13 in Brussels after Premier Alexis Tsipras, who said he’d never recognize the Troika has allowed talks with them.
Sakellarides said SYRIZA remains opposed to the big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings that came with the bailouts but wants to stay in the Eurozone as the two sides try to find common ground.
“Over the next three days, we will present our proposals for reforms, our proposals on the fiscal level, but also as regards tackling the humanitarian crisis,” he said.