On a Monday (7.12) evening interview on public broadcaster ERT, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisted that his government will prevail in tough negotiations with Greece’s creditors, called for a consensus on country’s major issues and dismissed the criticism against Greece over the refugee crisis.

In this first interview after the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government was re-elected to power in September, Mr. Tsipras argued that while the Greek government is implementing everything that it has agreed to with its lenders, rounding “several of the most difficult milestones” on the course to economic recovery, the refugee crisis has changed the agenda and a national policy is needed to address the dramatic crisis. Greece “is the last pillar if stability in the region” but the cost of the 24-hour management of the refugee flows is “massive” the PM said, stating that while Greece is scrutinized for not doing enough to curb the wave refugees, no counter-proposals are offered up and Frontex has yet to respond more adequately to certain Greek requests. 

Despite his government’s small majority in Parliament, Tsipras defended the Greek government’s viability and performance and appeared confident that he will be able to carry out what is required, refuting suggestions that he will have to seek backing from opposition parties to stay in power. The PM clarified that he wanted a dialogue with opposition parties that would result in a broad-based “consensus on critical issues”, such as pension reform, the refugee crisis and a review of the constitution.