Responding to a question from Pasok leader Fofi Gennimata during prime minister’s question time, Tsipras confirmed that he had personally given the mandate to form a working group, saying that he would have been naïve and irresponsible not to have had an emergency contingency plan, “We didn't design or have a plan to pull the country out of the euro, but we did have emergency plans…If our partners and lenders had prepared a Grexit plan, shouldn't we as a government have prepared our defense?”
The prime minister accused the opposition of focusing on political point scoring in attempting to create a scandal out of the contingency plan, telling the PASOK leader that if she is looking for a political scandal, she should look inside her own party, and to the governments that preceded SYRIZA/ANEL, and not at Varoufakis, or at his government.
Tsipras went on to defend his former finance minister, “Mr. Varoufakis might have made mistakes,… You can blame him as much as you want for his political plan, his statements, for his taste in shirts, for vacations in Aegina, but you cannot accuse him of stealing the money of Greek people or having a covert plan to take Greece to the precipice.”
The leaked recording of a conversation in which Varoufakis describes the work of a working group mandated to come up with a ‘plan B’ has provoked much controversy in Greece. In the recording, the former finance minister details efforts to create a parallel payment system in case the banking system ceased to function, but critics have likened it to a secret plan for taking the country back to the drachma. Read more about ‘plan B’ here.
Greece today begins meetings with its 4 international creditors, the European Commission, European Central Bank, IMF and the European bailout fund. Following the Eurosummit agreement of 12 July, Greece has complied with its obligations to legislate two packages of ‘prior actions’, and negotiations on a third bailout are set to get underway.