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Tsipras: Debt relief will bring the curtain down on a modern Greek tragedy


For Greece to enter a path of sustainable growth, its lenders will have to do their duty to restore the viability of its debt, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a speech at the Concordia Summit in New York on Tuesday evening, noting that given their agreement, “that time is now”.

According to AMNA, Tsipras said specific measures for the reduction of Greek debt should be announced by the end of the year to give markets and investors a clear message that “Greece is back, the years of the crisis are over”.

“By the end of 2016, the horizon should be clear. Before 2017 which is an election year for many countries,” he said, adding this is a necessary condition for Greece to participate in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program and return to the markets in 2017.
“This is the responsibility of our international creditors. Debt relief will bring the curtain down on a modern Greek tragedy. For this reason, nobody has the right to hesitate or delay,” he noted.

The premier also referred to the strenuous efforts and decisive steps taken by Greece last year to ensure the internal political and economic stability, adding that this year marks the turn of the economy towards recovery. “The Grexit is history, growth is ahead,” he told attendants.

He then mentioned measures taken by the government to boost growth, citing an investment-friendly institutional environment which will ensure 12 years of stable taxation for investments exceeding 40 million euros. Tsipras said the government has legislated a meritocratic and effective public sector, escaping the practices of the past which favoured clientelism and bureaucratic apathy.

“Every day we fight against corruption and the interests of the oligarchy which was connected with the old political system and hindered transparency and competition,” he stressed.

Changing topic, Tsipras said that cooperation in dealing with domestic and international challenges is as important as ever and hailed the strategic importance of the Concordia Summit in this direction.

He said this is particularly useful for the European Union, while itself the product of political cooperation has shifted the weight of resolving transnational crises to national governments, at a time when Europe has become the crossroads of three global crises: the migration crisis, security crisis – which stretches from North Africa to the Middle East - and the economic crisis.

He noted that the management of the financial and economic crisis of 2008 marked a shift in the logic of nationalization of collective problems.

“A recourse to the logic ‘not in my backyard’, where we avoid the necessary reforms to deepen integration in social, economic and financial sectors, is why Europe has not yet recovered from this crisis,” he said. “To put it another way, Europe, by following a dogmatic austerity agenda on the initiative of the North European creditor countries, has failed in what the United States achieved under a democratic management: to stop the crisis.”

However, in a broader environment of uncertainty, indecision and turmoil, Greece remains an anchor of geopolitical stability, Tsipras said. “And this is a precondition for European stability."

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