Greece done with austerity after ‘paying its dues’

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a speech in Berlin to a congress of European leftist parties on Saturday that it was time for his country’s creditors to understand that the Greek people have made enough sacrifices.

Tsipras also said that Greece would not surrender to those who want Greece to permanently maintain austerity policies.

“Our creditors need to keep in mind that the Greek people have made enough sacrifices and now it’s time for them to fulfil their obligations,” he said. “We are decisive that we will never surrender our people to the ‘yes men’ who want Greece in the straightjacket of austerity for many years ahead.”

“We have delivered on our obligations and our creditors need to do their part,” he said. “I’m optimistic that Greece will achieve its goals. But we will never accept the logic of ‘eternal austerity’ that destroys Greek society.”

Greek pension payout ‘complicated’ review talks

Greece’s decision to give pensioners a one-off bonus has delayed the conclusion of its second bailout review but an agreement can still be reached in the coming months, EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis was quoted as saying on Saturday.

“Certainly I wouldn’t describe the situation as a ‘dead-end’ but more turbulent than a few weeks ago,” Dombrovskis said in an interview with Greek newspaper Kathimerini. An agreement could be reached “in the coming months”, he said.

Asked what complicated the matter, Dombrovskis said: “What complicated things is the unilateral announcement by the Greek government over the benefits for 2016-17 even though we understand the concerns and the purpose behind this move by the Greek government.”