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Politician, Pragmatist, Puppet: Tsipras Defiant as Parliament Votes Bailout

© AP Photo / Thanassis StavrakisGreece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras - Sputnik International
From radical left-wing anti-austerity politician, to pragmatist or puppet? "I did not lie to the Greek people," says Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as he looks to leap through the next EU hoop and convince the government to vote on reforms to keep the country in the Eurozone.

Six months ago, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras dedicated his premiership to rejecting austerity and being bullied by Brussels. But following a showdown with the Troika, it seemed Tsipras fell on his sword and gave in to the creditors, not the Greeks.

Tsipras rejected the Greek citizens' "No" to more austerity measures in return for a bailout deal with Europe's bully boys and agreed to a set of austere reforms.

Tsipras admitted to Greek state broadcaster ERT that he had made mistakes and taken some bad decisions — but he didn't lie to the Greek people.

"You can accuse me of many things, that I had illusions that this Europe can be defeated, that the power of what's right can defeat the power of banks and money. But you cannot accuse me of lying to the Greek people."

But those illusions were shattered the day he made a deal with the Troika.

And now he faces further fractions within his own Syriza party as he presents a second set of measures that parliament must pass if the bailout talks are to continue and keep the country in the euro.

The first is the adoption of a new code of civil procedure, to speed up court cases to reduce costs — the updated electronic system was supposed to have been adopted in May 2014. 

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Syriza left-wing main opposition party, left, and Pablo Iglesias leader of Spanish Podemos left-wing party wave to the crowd after a pre-election speech at Omonia Square in Athens on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. - Sputnik International
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The second, dictated by the Eurozone, is to pass a European Union law, the bank recovery and resolution directive, into Greek national law. This means creditors and shareholders bear the losses of any future bank failures, not the tax payers.

If these go through — Greece gets the $94 billion (86 billion euro) rescue deal.

And it seems the Greek PM is looking to the future with pragmatism as he says the Greek parliament must focus on negotiations to secure the best bailout package possible. In order to do that, the government must focus on combating corruption, promoting the necessary reforms, introducing policies to support vulnerable social groups, as well as attracting investors to Greece.

After falling on his own sword, it seems Tsipras is trying to hold his head high in parliament for today's vote. But beneath him, on the streets of Athens, unions are plotting protests against more austerity measures, which were initially rejected. Tsipras, holding his head high however, should beware as these unions are the ones accusing him of lying.

The EU Commission will negotiate the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Greece's three year support under the European Stability Mechanism on the 2 August.

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