ATHENS – PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos has mocked Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras for reneging on campaign promises and bowing to international lenders.
Tsipras won Jan. 25 snap elections on the back of his promises to reverse austerity and not to negotiate with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) but broke both as well as most other pledges he made.
Venizelos served as Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister in the previous coalition led by then-Premier and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras in which both said they had the country on the road to recovery and an end to Troika deals.
Venizelos accused the SYRIZA-led government of doing a 180-degree turn in its reform proposal to the Troika, which it now calls The Institutions in what critics said was a face-saving name game attempt.’
The PASOK leader, under fire in his party for leading it to last place among parties in Parliament, said that while the previous government signed deals with the Troika that now, “the Greek government is being forced to write the memorandum in its own hand.”
He made his remarks after a visit to outgoing President Karolos Papoulias. He expressed his “regret” that the country “is taking so many steps back.”
“Just as we were about to leave the memorandum behind and receive a precautionary credit line with much more comfortable terms, we will now be stuck for months with the old memorandum and be preparing for a third memorandum as of July,” said Venizelos.
“It’s not them (the creditors) who are writing it and sending it to us for approval; the added punishment is that the Greek government has to draft it and then correct it itself,” Venizelos said.
His comments came after Tsipras and SYRIZA were forced to accept a four-month extension from the Troika and were given the chance to decide which reforms they would implement – subject to approval from the Eurozone and the lenders.