Published time: February 08, 2015 18:32
Edited time: February 08, 2015 19:19
Greece’s leftist PM, Alexis Tsipras, has announced that the EU and IMF bailout of the country’s debt has failed, and that Athens doesn’t plan to ask for an extension.
“The bailout failed,” Tsipras said in his first major speech to the Greek parliament as the country’s new prime minister on Sunday. “The new government is not justified in asking for an extension…because it cannot ask for an extension of mistakes.”
However, he admitted the possibility that a transitional agreement with lenders could be negotiated by the end of February in order to to tide Greece over, in the hope that a new debt pact could be reached.
The deadline for the EU and IMF bailout of the Greek debt has been set for February 28. Greek officials, including finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, have insisted that Greece does not want an extension of the bailout, but rather a bridge deal which would give it time to present a new proposal.
On Saturday, speaking at a government meeting, Varoufakis, promised to hand his EU counterparts a transitional plan for managing new debt and reform program next week. The EU finance ministers are set to hold a meeting on the Greek bailout program on Wednesday.
In January, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the EU is not planning to write off Greece’s external debt.
“There is no question of canceling the Greek debt. Other eurozone countries will not accept this,” Juncker said on January 29, as quoted by Le Figaro. He also made clear that Brussels did not want to threaten Greece and it is open to dialogue.
The Greek government was forced to implement austerity measures in exchange for a €240 billion bailout from the troika of creditors – the ECB, IMF and the EU. The bailout was paid in two parts – in 2010 and 2014.