(AA) – Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said his country will not return to austerity.
Following his visit to Brussels last week, Tsipras said in an interview with Greek daily newspaper Ethnos published on Monday: “There is no risk for wages and pensions and no threat for deposits in Greece.
“Whatever obstacles we may encounter in our negotiating effort, we will not return to the policies of austerity.”
“The key for an honorable compromise (with EU, IMF and European Central Bank creditors) is to recognize that the previous policy of extreme austerity has failed, not only in Greece, but in the whole of Europe,” Tsipras said.
Greece’s Eurozone partners have refused to write off any of Greece’s official debt.
However, Eurozone partners are willing to extend the duration of Greece’s loans if Athens implements the required reforms.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels on Monday: “The situation is serious and the aim this week is to continue working on the commitments of the Euro group.”
The Greek government is expected to run out of funds by the end of March if the next tranche of the bailout payment is not made this month.
Following Tsipras’ comments in Athens, Schinas said: “The Commission feels that it is time for us to work right now – it’s not the time to make declarations.
“This is also time for unity, not the time for divisions.”
Tsipras also told Ethnos: “I don’t believe we will need to apply alternative plans because the issue will be solved at a political level by the end of the week in the run up to the EU summit, or, if necessary, at the … summit.”
EU heads of government are set to meet on Thursday and Friday in Brussels to discuss Greece’s debt with its international creditors.