Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, refuted the idea that his country would need another international bailout. A poll revealed that his government had increasing support at home despite the fact that it had to back down from some of its pre-election rhetoric – mainly the intention to walk away from the austerity and reform program imposed by Greece’s international creditors. Mr Tsipras, however, rejected German suggestions that his country was attempting to blackmail the Eurozone. Nonetheless, his cabinet had asked for a reduction in Greece’s debt, ignoring the persistence of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Greece must continue with its reform program.
Greece has already been granted two bailout programs together worth €240 billion but the country’s banking system is still facing the loss of emergency funding. Therefore, Prime Minister Tsipras and his Syriza party had to accept a four-month extension to the bailout program, although he strongly dismissed the suggestions that another bailout would be coming. “Some have bet on a third bailout, on the possibility of a third bailout in June. I’m very sorry but once again we will disappoint them,” he said and added: “Let them forget a third bailout. The Greek people put an end to bailouts with their vote.”
Despite the strong opposition of the new Greek government to the third bailout program, some believe that once the extension is over, new negotiations will begin. Greek fiscal policy remains in serious condition as tax revenues are falling. Moreover, the country still does not have an access to international debt markets. In the meantime, the EU’s financial affairs chief, Pierre Moscovici, said before Bundestag’s vote on the Greek bailout extension that “if a country, any country, leaves, the question will arise: ‘who is leaving next?’.” Nevertheless, he added that Greece was still obliged to meet its international obligations.