The Greek government is determined to defend the rights of its people and not bow to measures that perpetuate austerity, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers at the 5th conference of the Party of the European Left in Berlin on Saturday Dec 17. “We are determined to promote the rights of the Greek people. We’re determined not to abandon our people to ‘yes-men’ who support continuing austerity for many years,” he said on his second day of his visit to the German capital where he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials and lawmakers.
PM Alexis Tsipras defended the government’s decision to announce bonuses for low-income pensioners and a suspension of VAT increases for islands affected by the refugee crisis, saying they did not run counter to the country’s commitments. “Our creditors must keep in mind that the Greek people have made many sacrifices and now it is their turn to fulfill their obligations. They should implement the short-term measures for the debt and open talks about lower surpluses,” he continued, saying that creditors and the International Monetary Fund cannot exclude Greece from the labour laws applied in the EU.