Parliament President Denies Tsakalotos Rift Over Economy

Αssociated press

Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos attends a parliamentary session. (AP Photo/ Yorgos Karahalis )

ATHENS - Greek Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said there is no schism between him and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos over the handling of the economy.
Voutsis told the business newspaper Naftemporiki there is no "difference of opinion" although he had barred Tskalotos from talking to Parliament during a debate.
That followed reports there were differences of opinion in the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition over how to deal with international lenders during a long-stalled negotiation with creditors over a third bailout of 86 billion euros (($92.76 billion).
After Voutsis finally relented and agreed to let Tsakalotos talk, the Finance Minister declined amid palpable tension between the two, both members of SYRIZA.
There is growing dissension within the party over Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' constant surrender to the European Union, European Central Bank, European Stability Mechanism and International Monetary Fund and reneging on anti-austerity promises.
Voutsis echoed the government line by saying an agreement with the lenders is being "implemented to the letter" despite reports the government has failed to implement most of the conditions needed to get release of further monies.
Asked about the stalled negotiations to conclude a second review of the bailout program, Voutsis said what he called "extremist circles" among creditors will back off in the end, the newspaper added.
He also referred to a "dirty war" waged against Greece - now in its third bailout - by the unidentified alleged conspirators. It's common for Greek politicians to blame bogeyman or accuse others without naming them.