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Tsipras Extends Invitation to "Progressive Arc" Parties After Exit from Memorandum

Αssociated Press

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, June 22, 2017. European Union leaders are gathering for a two day summit to weigh measures in which to tackle terrorism and migration and to create closer defense ties. (Julien Warnand, Pool Photo via AP)

ATHENS (ANA) - Greece's prospects as the memorandum program draws to a close in 2018, as well as ruling SYRIZA's overtures to the parties of the "broader progressive arc," dominated an interview given by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the Greek Sunday newspaper "Nea Selida".

Tsipras noted that the program will end next summer and that Greece must be supported with specific measures so that it can tap the markets using its own strength before that time. "Isn't that our final goal? After June 15, we are closer than ever," he said.

Listing the country's gains in the last round of the negotiations, the prime minister especially highlighted the fact that the government's stance in the negotiations had led to a better agreement for Greece. Neither the positive measures, nor the growth clause, nor the Development Bank nor a clear commitment to support Greece's access to the markets would exist if the government had signed when the main opposition was clamouring for it to do so, he added.

Talking about the PASOK party, meanwhile, Tsipras said that SYRIZA would be "genuinely pleased if [PASOK] once again found its progressive orientation and the courage to start a sincere and unprejudiced dialogue with the governing Left, with SYRIZA, on the prospects of a progressive governance after the end of the memoranda."

"We will be there but I think it has very serious problems to resolve in order to get there," he added, calling on PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata to adopt a position on the agenda proposed by New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis. "Then we will know whether we are on the same or opposite sides of the abyss," he added.

Asked about the Cyprus issue, the Greek premier said that it was possible for positive steps to be made, provided that Turkey adopted a constructive attitude.

He also announced that SYRIZA will work more intensively over the coming months to build a stronger connection with society, starting long before the next elections in September 2019.