ATHENS Feb 24 Greek Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras defended a deal reached between Athens and its foreign
creditors for further reforms in return for bailout aid, saying
it was an 'honourable compromise'.
Tsipras said he believed relations between the country and
the European Union and International Monetary Fund had turned a
page after seven years in international bailouts, and that
lenders had accepted austerity for the crisis-hit country should
"I think there was a turnaround of all sides.. In the
direction of overcoming austerity and to now focus on a change
to the policy mix that Greece must now follow," Tsipras told
Greece and creditors agreed on Monday to further reforms and
in return Athens will adopt tax relief measures, in a
quid-pro-quo to ease a logjam in talks which have held up
Representatives of Greece's foreign creditors, the European
Union and the International Monetary Fund, will return to Athens
next week to discuss reforms the country must adopt to convince
the IMF to participate in its current bailout prorgramme.
The review of Greece's bailout progress has dragged on for
months mainly due to a rift between the EU and the
Washington-based IMF over the country's fiscal targets in 2018,
when its programme ends, and the post-bailout period.
Tsipras, who described the compromise as a refocus and a
shift to a 'policy mix' in which any impact would be offset by
some relief measures, said he expected the review to be
concluded by March 20.
"If you would ask me personally, if I agree to the need to
change this policy mix I would say no, but when you go into a
negotiation its obvious you will make some gains, but you will
also be forced to make some concessions," he said.
"Today, I have the absolute conviction we have achieved an
honourable compromise...For the first time in seven years it was
agreed to leave behind us this principle of perpetual
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Toby Chopra)