May 17, 2015
Greece’s government said it won’t back down on election pledges to end austerity even while seeking to agree on a deal with creditors as soon as this week to unblock financing and avert a default.
“We’re striving for a mutually beneficial agreement by Friday,” Nikos Filis, spokesman for the parliamentary group of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party, said Sunday in comments broadcast on Mega TV. “Our mandate from the Greek people is to reach an agreement where we stay in the euro area without harsh austerity measures,” he said, adding that “tough negotiations” will take place before a summit meeting of European Union leaders in Riga, Latvia, on May 21-22.
Tsipras’s so-called red lines include no further cuts to wages and pensions. More than 110 days of talks between Greece and its creditors have failed to produce an agreement to unlock additional aid from a 240 billion-euro ($275 billion) bailout. The standoff has triggered a liquidity squeeze, pulling the country back into a recession and renewing doubts over Greece’s future in the euro area.