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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Go Tsipras Go!

Greece Reaffirms Rejection of Bailout Before Emergency EU Meeting

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, front center, stands alongside Giannis Dragasakis, Greece's deputy prime minister, ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for the new government held at the Greek Parliament building in Athens, Greece, on Feb. 5, 2015. Photographer: Yannis Kolesidis/Pool via Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reaffirmed his government’s rejection of the country’s international bailout program two days before an emergency meeting with the euro area’s finance ministers.
Tsipras vowed to increase the minimum wage, restore the income tax-free threshold and halt infrastructure privatizations in a speech that sets him on a collision course with the country’s creditors.

“It is the irrevocable decision of our government to honor the mandate of the Greek people and negotiate an end to the European Union’s austerity,” Tsipras said in an address to parliament marking the start of a three-day debate on his government’s policy platform. “We aim to work with our partners in Europe to achieve these goals.”

Tsipras, who came close to tears at one point during his speech Sunday evening in Athens, also said he would ask for World War II reparations from Germany and the repayment of forced loans Greece made to the Nazi regime during the country’s occupation.

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