Tsipras Insists 'No more Lectures' for Greece in First Speech to Parliament
Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said his country will no longer take "orders" from other countries, Deutsche Welle reports.
Tsipras's speech to party members after parliament met for the first time was greeted with keen applause. On Thursday, he told members of his radical leftist SYRIZA party that they had already succeeded in helping Greece, and Europe as a whole, to turn the page on austerity.
"The time has come to turn the page, not just for Greece but for Europe too," Tsipras (pictured right) said after parliament met for the first time since that January 25 elections that swept his party to power.
Speaking after Greece's new parliament was sworn in, Tsipras reiterated a pre-election promise that Greece would no longer be "governed by emails sent by second-tier EU staff."
"Greece won't take orders any more, especially orders through emails," the 40-year-old leader told Syriza members, in a speech that was punctuated by enthusiastic applause. "Greece is no longer the miserable partner who listens to lectures to do its homework. Greece has its own voice."
Tspiras said Syriza would not back down from a pledge to renegotiate Greece's EU-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. The party claims that austerity has stifled its prospects for growth, and says it wants to rein in public spending restrictions.
Tsipras - back from a tour of European capitals seeking support for his ideas - has demanded an end to the troika oversight system by creditors comprising the EU Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF. In the short term, Athens wants "bridging" finance until it can renegotiate its debt arrangement with eurozone ministers.
"Greece cannot blackmailed because democracy in Europe cannot be blackmailed," Tsipras told his lawmakers. "We are a sovereign country, we have democracy, we have a contract with our people - we will honor this agreement."