Greek ex-PM to improve bailout terms

Athens, Sep 7 (IANS) Former Greek premier and leader of leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras has vowed to improve terms for the third bailout with creditors in order to implement social policies that were in the pipeline during the seven months of his government, the media reported on Monday.

“Many are intentionally trying to spread (the rumour) that the only thing we will decide in the elections is managing the agreement, which, intentionally, is also being presented as something (already) concluded. There is no worse a lie,” Tsipras said on Sunday.

Recent surveys predict a close contest in the upcoming general elections on September 20, with Syriza leading the conservatives by a narrow margin, EFE news reported.

“The scandals in recent years, large and small, are proof of its intentions. If New Democracy returns to power, with it will return networks of corruption which led the country into bankruptcy over the last forty years,” Tsipras said.

Tsipras stressed their compliance to the new adjustment programme would not prevent his party from undertaking leftist policies and mitigating effects of the cuts.

He defended the third bailout with the creditors in July, saying it goes “beyond the difficult measures, it stabilises Greek economy and ends the debate on Grexit”.

Tsipras presented a series of measures aimed at improving the state’s lack of liquidity, reducing unemployment — standing at 25 percent, of which 50 percent are youth — and improving the health and education systems.

Re-capitalisation of banks, using funds from the bailout, was required to address the problem of liquidity crisis, he said.

He also spoke of a 35 billion euros (around $35 billion) investment package from the plan promoted by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

The former premier promised a plan to protect investors in the agriculture sector, with stricter measures against illegal imports, setting up of local markets without intermediaries, and more support to agricultural cooperatives.

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