Greek leftist firebrand Alexis Tsipras told German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday that Berlin-backed reforms being pursued by the Greek government had been a total failure, pushing up unemployment and poverty in his country.
Tsipras, the 38-year-old opposition leader whose Syriza party leads opinion polls in Greece, has led the fight against spending cuts and tax hikes that Germany, its European partners and the IMF have insisted on in return for billions of euros in aid to stave off bankruptcy.
He requested a meeting with Schaeuble during a visit to Berlin and told reporters afterwards: “I told him that the austerity programmes have failed all over Europe and especially in Greece.”
“Now we must deal with their impact: poverty, unemployment,” said Tsipras. “Our vision is to see Greece exiting the crisis with people on their feet.”