The unexpected announcement by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, Thursday night, that he would issue 1,6 million pensioners with a total of 617 million-euro in help caught all parties involved in talks over the bailout program off guard. Amid a delicate time in negotiations over the GDP surplus target and the amount of additional fiscal measures needed, as well as the pending disagreements between the IMF and the European institutions on the Greek matter, his move has baffled everyone, who are the wondering what his real intentions are. During his live address, the Greek PM also announced the suspension of increased VAT taxes on the Aegean Islands. Speaking to protothma.gr, an EU official said Brussels were surprised at his announcement and that the EU was unaware of his decision. The same source noted that the Greek government had not consulted with the institutions on the matter, while adding that there were serious problems in implementing the decisions reached at the recent EuroGroup.
It is difficult to decipher the reasoning behind his promises on Thursday, with some claiming it was a distraction from the difficult negotiations ahead with Greece’s creditors and the new harsh measures the government will be forced to implement, while others believe Mr. Tsipras is preparing an “escape route” to an early election. They say he is building a narrative whereby he was forced to call elections as the country’s lenders would not allow him to exercise social policies instead of agreeing to more harsh measures.