Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Alexis Tsipras begins rolling back Greek austerity policies. BIG APPLAUSE!

New prime minister says there is no time to waste, as privatisation programme demanded by EU and IMF is put on hold
Wednesday 28 January 2015
In a dramatic start to his tenure in office, Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has begun unpicking the deeply unpopular austerity policies underpinning the debt-stricken country’s bailout programme.

Alexis Tsipras said there was no time to waste. “We will continue with our plan,” he told his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “We don’t have the right to disappoint our voters.”

The government’s top priority would be to tackle the “humanitarian crisis” – the result of five years of punitive belt-tightening measures – but also to open negotiations over Greece’s debt, €320bn.

“We won’t get into a mutually destructive clash, but we will not continue a policy of subjection,” said Tsipras, who at 40 is Greece’s youngest postwar leader.

Catapulted into office for the first time, Syriza – in power with the small, Independent Greeks party set about acting on its pledges before the cabinet meeting even began.

Earlier, the energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, called a halt to the privatisation programme that the EU and IMF have demanded in exchange for the €240bn in aid. Plans to sell off the country’s dominant power corporation, PPC, were to be frozen with immediate effect. “We will immediately stop any privatisation of PPC,” said the politician, who heads Syriza’s militant Left Platform. A proposed schemeto privatise the port of Pireaus, the country’s largest docks, were also put on hold

(The Guardian)

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