Tsipras: We hadn’t realized the power of money, banks

Outgoing Greek PM defends memorandum, negotiations, his choices, referendum et. al. during TV interview

The pre-election season — yet again — continued to rev up on Wednesday as outgoing PM Alexis Tsipras took to the airwaves in a live television interview to defend his leftist government, his decision to sign a third memorandum bailout and the split within ruling SYRIZA party, amongst others.
“I had the obligation to place myself before the Greek people to be judged,” he said in trying to explain his sudden decision to resign and opt for snap elections in September.
He also repeated that he never called for a “no” to Europe or Greece’s continued presence in the euro zone.
Tsipras appeared on the private television station Alpha in a one-on-one Q&A session with a reporter.
“For seven months I proceeded with the Jan. 25 mandate, promising a tough negotiation, and I exhausted this mandate. Things were led to their limits, we reached a point of collision with our partners and in the end to compromise, an agreement,” he said, adding that his conscience was clear.
The fallout from the Tsipras’ government acceptance of the memorandum and its passing in Parliament led to a split in ruling SYRIZA, with more than a quarter of the party’s MPs failing to vote for the bailout and in the end many opting to join another party, the anti-bailout and even more radical leftist Popular Unity.
Asked about his controversial decision call a referendum for July 6 to ask voters if they approve of terms of a previous deal submitted by European creditors — a majority voted “no” — he called the referendum a “moment of resistance for the Greek people”.
He also explained during the course of the interview that he never called for a “no” to take Greece out of Europe and euro.