Greece’s ruling coalition has split over the country’s bailout deal with creditors.
In an event late on Monday, about 2,000 left-wing Syriza supporters gathered to support a ‘big no’ to the bailout deal with Greece’s European creditors. The meeting was timed to coincide with the arrival of official from the institutional creditors – the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the EU – who are to negotiate the specific implementation of the deal.
The agreement, agreed with the Eurogroup on July 13, and voted by the Greek parliament on July 16, calls for a three-year €93 billion ($102.9 billion) bailout along with the adoption of a series of economic reforms by the Greek government – these have been passed by the Greek parliament.
But, to get these measures through the Greek parliament, Prime Minister AlexisTsipras had to rely on votes from the opposition, as a large part of the left wing of his party wouldn’t support them.
At the meeting on Monday night, Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis made a fiery speech vowing that his group would fight against the implementation of the reforms required by the bailout program.
Lafazanis, who was forced out of his post as Energy Minister for the government due to his vote against the bailout in parliament, accused Tsipras of betraying the party, and the ideals of the Left.
Referring to the ‘no’ vote in the referendum on the bailout, Lafazanis said: “The people proudly said ‘no,’ and this ‘no’ is a bright milestone, this ‘no’ is not defeated, and we will continue to triumph, for a proud Greece.”
“The ‘no’ was not a brief storm that has passed” said Lafazanis, who voted against the austerity measures demanded by Greece’s international creditors in last week’s two votes and added that “those who think that, are mistaken, we are facing a dirty war coordinated by foreign interests with the foreign media, in coordination with most of the domestic media.”
Lfazanis issued a challenge to Tsipras’ leadership, warning that the number of dissident voices would increase and defeat the implementation of the bailout.
”“Those who think otherwise are mistaken. But we are facing a dirty war coordinated by foreign interests with the foreign media, in coordination with most of the domestic media,” he insisted.
“My own position and insistence from the start was to promptly prepare Greece, first of all politically, for all outcomes – even for that of an exit from the eurozone, if it was met with a ‘wall’ and demands for capitulation” he said.
Both Lafazanis, and a speaker that followed him, the former MEP Manolis Glezos, called for Greece to abandon the euro and to return to the drachma. Lafazanis has been accused of planning raids on the printing plant in Athens where euro bills are prepared.
– Varoufakis admits to plotting to leave the euro Earlier on the same day, a recording of a phone conversation between former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and some UK-based investors which took, place on July 16, was leaked to the press.
In it, Varoufakis claimed that a team under his supervision was allowed to hack into his ministry’s computer systems in a bid to create a “functioning parallel system” that would permit a return to the drachma.
Varoufakis did not deny the claims, but insisted that the plan was sanctioned by the prime minister. Tsipras has not taken responsibility for the plan.