ATHENS – Struggling to get a deal with international lenders, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he may let Greeks vote on it.
Tsipras also hinted any possible deal with the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) would likely contain provisions he opposed in his campaign promises to reverse austerity.
In 2011, former Premier and then-PASOK Socialist leader George Papandreou was hounded out of office when he proposed a similar referendum, drawing vehement criticism from the creditors.
In a late-night interview on Star TV on April 27, Tsipras said his mandate is to negotiate a deal “that won’t repeat the vicious circle of austerity, misery and pillage; a solution with prospects and within the European framework.”
If the deal “exceeds that mandate,” then “Greek people will have to decide, obviously not through elections,” he said when asked about the possibility of a snap poll or a referendum.
He lashed out at Eurozone chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem and the ECB, accusing them of treating Greece unfairly and breaking promises, as the Radical Left SYRIZA leader continued being combative with those he’s seeking money from.
He said he was willing to compromise but insisted that it was the troika which had made life worse for Greeks even as he indicated he might be forced to take a deal he doesn’t like because the country has almost no money left.