ATHENS, June 16 (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras defied what he called an attempt to “humiliate” his government on Tuesday, saying that an insistence by international lenders on further cuts was politically motivated.
He said he wanted a deal that would put an end to talk of Greece leaving the eurozone but said his government had been elected to end austerity, restating the position he has maintained since talks with lenders broke down on Sunday.
“The mandate we have got from the Greek people is to end austerity policy,” he told lawmakers in his leftist Syriza party.
“In order to achieve that, we have to seek a deal which will spread the burden evenly and which will not hurt wage earners and pensioners.”
Tsipras’s comments appeared to deepen the deadlock between Athens and its creditors, amid growing signs that Greece could be heading for a default that would push it towards exiting the eurozone.
He said the European Central Bank was insisting on financial “strangulation” for Greece and blamed the ECB and European Union for resisting offering debt relief. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas, writing by James Mackenzie, editing by Deepa Babington)