ATHENS – At his first Cabinet meeting, new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his ministers the priorities for the SYRIZA-led coalition would be helping the most vulnerable, restarting the economy and taking on international lenders he blamed for ruining the lives of many Greeks.
Tsipras reiterated his campaign vow that he would negotiate with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) that put up 240 billion euros ($272 billion) in two bailouts but demanded harsh austerity measures in return.
“Our priority is to support the economy, to help it get going again,” Tsipras said. “We are ready to negotiate with our partners in order to reduce debt and find a fair and viable solution,” he added.
Tsipras said the new government – a coalition between leftist SYRIZA and right-wing Independent Greeks – would seek to fight corruption and enforce a fair tax system, priorities for previous governments which failed to produce any marked results.
“We are not here to enjoy privileges and power. We want to change the way in which power is exercised,” Tsipras told his ministers while pledging a daily briefing for journalists.