Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he is committed to implementing the agreement struck with European leaders, despite not believing in it. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras defended on Tuesday (July 14) a bailout deal struck at a euro zone summit, saying the agreement saved Greece from exiting the euro and must be implemented. "I am fully assuming my responsibilities, for mistakes and for oversights, and for the responsibility of signing a text that I do not believe in, but that I am obliged to implement," Tsipras said in an interview on public television. "I will not run away from my responsibilities because what is important right now is to ensure the safety of the country and of the working classes so that they do not suffer an economic catastrophe, and to ensure the safety of the banking system and protect people's savings." Tsipras said he had fought a battle not to cut wages and pensions, adding that the fiscal adjustment agreed in the deal was milder than adjustments agreed to in the past. But he did not hide his bitterness over the acrimonious summit. "There was a vindictive attitude displayed by our partners regarding our decision to ask the people's opinion in a referendum," he said. Tsipras, who faces strong discontent within his Syriza party over the deal, said Greece must stick to the fiscal adjustment the deal foresees because a Grexit and a parallel currency were simply not options for the beleaguered country, as it does not have the resources to implement its own currency. Tsipras appeared to rule out stepping down early or ceding power to a national unity government with opposition parties after being forced to abandon election promises and accept painful austerity measures. He lashed out at party rebels who are considering voting against the measures. The Greek Finance Ministry has submitted the legislation required for the deal to parliament for a vote on Wednesday (July 15). Assuming Athens fulfills its end of the bargain this week by enacting a swathe of painful measures, the German parliament is due to meet in a special session on Friday (July 17) to debate whether to authorize the government to open new loan negotiations.