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Politics

Tsipras: SYRIZA’s Plan Focuses on Resolving New Private Debt, Supporting SMEs

ATHENS — There is another restart path to a robust economy and a strong society, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, that centers around the middle class and young people.

Presenting the party's plan for a viable restart to the economy, Tsipras said that the plan is built on three pillars: a generous settlement for private sector debt that accrued during the pandemic (in 120 installments and shaving off up to 60 pct of debt); enhancing liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and introducing a permanent and comprehensive framework of handling private sector debt (a new bankruptcy law that protects primary homes).

The government cannot manage the economy because its solutions "recycle the crisis, as if it never learned anything from the great crisis of the loan memoranda and the pandemic," the Syriza leader said, adding that Greece registered the 3rd greatest recession in the eurozone and 1 in 3 businesses is facing permanent shutdown.

In terms of its first pillar, Syriza's plan focuses on the 'new generation of private debt' created during the coronavirus pandemic. From its start in Greece, February 2020, to the end of that year, 17 billion euros worth of new debt to the public sector and banks was created, Tsipras said, likening it to a "ticking bomb".

The second pillar guarantees enough liquidity, without which SMEs "will not manage to stand on their two feet, with dramatic consequences for their employees as well."

In addition, regarding the third pillar, Tsipras said, a stable framework that will have no end date will cover all categories of debtors and debts, take into account the needs of every debtor and adapt to them, and recognize consistent payers, allowing citizens to free themselves from debt and plan their lives. In other words, he said, the proposal would "abolish the extremely antisocial bankruptcy law of New Democracy and bring back protection for the primary home, and the obligatory regulations for creditors and mainly for banks."

Syriza's plan also incorporates special provisions for farmers, Tsipras said, protecting productive assets that provide living expenses for farmers against any kind of liquidation.

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