NICOSIA, Cyprus — Greece’s new Prime Minister is striking a more conciliatory tone over the country’s push to renegotiate its bailout loans.
He says the Greek people expect him to carry out tough negotiations with eurozone creditors, but “within a European framework.”
Alexis Tsipras ruled out suggestions that his government may reach out to Russia for a loan, saying his government’s primary objective is to conclude a deal with Greece’s European partners and “all those who have loaned to our country and to whom our country has obligations.”
Tsipras said he was surprised many “powerful European forces” back his government’s call for a policy about-face from austerity to growth-oriented policies.
But he condemned creditors’ demands for painful budget measures in exchange for the loans, saying “people need room to breathe.”
Greece’s Finance Minister is continuing his tour of European capitals with a visit to London, after receiving backing from France for efforts to ease the terms of a 240 billion-euro ($270 billion) bailout.
Though Britain is not part of the euro, Yanis Varoufakis wants to build rapport with U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne with face-to-face talks.
Osborne said he welcomes the opportunity for talks with Varoufakis to discuss “the stability of the European economy and how to boost its growth.”
Varoufakis took office last week after the radical left SYRIZA party won parliamentary elections, alarming investors and Eurozone governments. Tsipras has said he wants to end years of austerity and renegotiate Greece’s debts.