22:20 GMT +320 February 2019
Listen Live
    Greek crisis

    Can He Fix It or Will They Grexit? Top Level Talks for Tsipras Rescheduled

    © AFP 2018 / ARIS MESSINIS
    Get short URL
    Financial crisis in Greece (197)
    0 123

    Negotiations between Brussels and Greece have broken down in the past five months - the Syriza party is insisting that any agreement should now be negotiated at a higher political level, and it appears those demands are being met.

    Following the breakdown of Thursday's Eurogroup meeting, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande all agreed to hold an emergency summit after the weekend in an attempt to reach a deal.

    This follows a meeting between Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin, after the Greek PM traveled to Russia to attend an economic forum in St. Petersburg.

    Speaking exclusively to Sputnik, Stefanos Samoilis, Syriza member of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs said efforts in the past few months have been completely centered on reaching an agreement with its European partners.

    However, according to Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jorg Schelling, "we don't know if Greece is going to make a move and make new proposals."

    "Taking this to the political level, as Greece does, is obviously a double-edged sword," Schelling added.

    "This has been an honest effort from our government to avoid any one-sided decisions that would lead to unknown results. However, as I have stated before, a default is not something we need to avoid at any cost.

    "Our priority is to reach an agreement that is in the interest of the working majority and not to extend their problems by pretending the only solution is to sign a new memorandum continuing along the lines of austerity."

    Stefanos Samoilis, however, ruled out an Icelandic model of default and nationalization of the banking system.

    "I don't think this would be something that is suitable for Greek situation. Iceland's problems were mostly — if not completely — centered on their banking system. In that sense I think that they made the right choice of defaulting and nationalizing their banks.

    "To a certain degree most developed countries around the world helped their banks after the financial meltdown with taxpayer's money while at the same time they acquired control over their managerial boards.

    Stefanos Samoilis told Sputnik that one of the party's main promises and political directions is for more public control over the banking system."In our case however, Greek taxpayers payed for the insolvency and recapitalization of their banks without getting anything in return. This, I think, is the biggest scandal in Greek Banking history."

    "Especially when we paid to capitalize them," Samoilis said.

    "Furthermore, the unwillingness of the banks to play a developmental role and provide sufficient liquidity has hurt the Greek economy and can only be reversed if national control is applied. This doesn't have to be in the form of nationalizing the whole banking system but at a minimum we need a publicly owned bank that aims to provide funding opportunities based on the common good.

    Samoilis explained that depending on the outcome of further negotiations, the Greek government will explore the possibility of nationalizing the banking system or creating a public bank.

    Responding to the rhetoric that a Grexit would be suicidal for Greece, Samoilis told Sputnik: "I don't agree with this view. I don't think anything other than the continuation of austerity policies, is suicidal for Greece.

    "A Grexit I think is much more painful for the European Monetary Union than for any single nation's economy."

    "The current talks with our partners will determine whether Greece will keep on making decisions based on an irrational economic model which will bring even more people to the brink of poverty, further diffuse our social security system for the profit of big interests, or whether Europe and Greece will change course and provide a democratic and sustainable solution for the profit of the many.

    "If we see that our partners insist on unsustainable policies, it is our duty to explore other options provide them to the Greek public and democratically decide which way to go forward.

    "The debt problem has to be resolved if Greece aims to seriously return to growth. In the past few months many concessions have been made by the Syriza government in favor of an agreement with our European partners. One that hasn't been made is about the debt. I personally disagree with some of the concessions made such as the privatization of the peripheral airports and these are topics we are discussing and we will evaluate if/when an agreement is reached.

    "However a concession on the Greek debt problem is something that must not happen if we aim to find a permanent solution and not just another short term fix.

    "The fact that Europe is now officially discussing the Greek Debt problem when only a couple months ago it was out of the table is proof of what a democratically elected left wing party can achieve in opposition to what we are told," claimed Samoilis.

    "We will negotiate until the last minute, Peter Altmaier, Angela Merkel's chief of staff told Inforadio saying that he still believed it was possible that Athens and its international leaders could reach a solution to Greece's debt crisis.

    Greece has until the 30th June to agree a deal to prevent the country defaulting on its 1.6 billion euro debt to the International Monetary Fund and becoming bankrupt.

    Financial crisis in Greece (197)


    'Those Who Invest in Crisis Will be Disappointed': Tsipras on Greece Debt
    Greek Energy Ministry: BRICS Bank President to Welcome Greek Application
    Deal or No Deal: Default, Democracy and More Greek Misery
    debt talks, Eurozone, Greek debt, Grexit, Greek economy, summit, EU membership, bailout program, negotiations, euro, bailout, economic crisis, bank, default, nationalization, Syriza party, European Union, Stefanos Samoilis, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Alexis Tsipras, Europe, Greece
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik