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Greece PM Alexis Tsipras blinks on austerity plan

Greece PM Alexis Tsipras blinks on austerity plan
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to his party’s lawmakers on Friday to back a tough reform package after abruptly offering last-minute...

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to his party’s lawmakers on Friday to back a tough reform package after abruptly offering last-minute concessions to try to save the country from financial meltdown.

As creditor institutions due to deliver an initial verdict on Athens’ loan request and reform proposals within hours, euro zone partners appeared to be preparing for a deal at the weekend to keep Greece in the euro zone.
According to reports, German chancellor Angela Merkel has softened her opposition to any debt relief after tremendous pressure from the US, France and Italy to keep Greece in the group in view of geostrategic compulsions.
Reciprocating the euro-group’s climb down, Mr Tsipras called upon lawmakers to help Greece stay with the euro, but he faced resistance from leftists stunned by his acceptance of previously spur-ned austerity measures.
“We got a mandate to bring a better deal than the ultimatum that the Eurogroup gave us, but certainly not a mandate to take Greece out of the euro zone,” he said. “We are all in this together.”
The latest reform package was strikingly similar to the terms Greeks rejected in a referendum, angering members of the Syriza’s hardline Left Platform. Five of them signed a letter saying it would be better to return to the drachma, Greece's pre-euro currency, than to swallow austerity with no debt write-off.
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