ATHENS — Greece’s prime minister says “the bigger the ‘no’ vote, the better agreement we’ll achieve” and that a powerful “no” in Sunday’s austerity referendum would “send tremors” throughout Europe.
Alexis Tsipras told private Antenna TV station in an interview Thursday that he wants Greece to remain within the eurozone, but with a sustainable bailout agreement. He said a “yes” win would lead to a deal that puts additional burdens on Greece without growth.
He skirted a question whether he would call elections if the “yes” side prevails, saying that he would remain “the institutional guardian of the constitution” and set in motion “the necessary procedures.”
Tsipras told state TV in an interview earlier this week that he was not an “all weather” prime minister — strongly indicating he would step down if his proposal is defeated.
Greece government says the International Monetary Fund’s report on Greece “completely justifies” Greece’s position on debt sustainability.
In a report released Thursday, the IMF says Greece needs both debt relief and 50 billion euros ($56 billion) in new financing from October through 2018.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government has long argued that any new deal with Greece’s creditors would have to address the country’s debt by including some form of restructuring or debt relief.
Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis says the IMF report “constitutes a confession of failure of the (Greek bailout).”
Others criticized the report. Ashoka Mody, a visiting professor at Princeton University, said it shows the IMF and the European Union were not “negotiating in good faith” with Greece since they did not talk about debt relief.