Greece’s government prepared reform measures on Sunday to secure a financial lifeline from the euro zone, but was attacked for selling “illusions” to voters after failing to keep a promise to extract the country from its international bailout. Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has insisted Greece achieved a negotiating success when euro zone finance ministers agreed to extend the bailout deal for four months, provided it came up with a list of reforms by Monday.
Greeks reacted with relief that Friday’s deal averted a banking crisis which fellow euro zone member Ireland said could have erupted in the coming week. This means Tsipras has stood by one promise at least: to keep the country in the euro zone. Tsipras maintains he has the nation behind him despite staging a climbdown in Brussels. Under the deal, Greece will still live under the EU/IMF bailout which he had pledged to scrap, and must negotiate a new program by the early summer.
“I want to say a heartfelt thanks to the majority of Greeks who stood by the Greek government … That was our most powerful negotiating weapon,” he said on Saturday. “Greece achieved an important negotiating success in Europe.”. Top Marxist members of Tsipras’s Syriza party, a broad coalition of the left, have so far been silent on the painful compromises made to win agreement from the Eurogroup.