1. ITV Report

The man who holds the fate of the euro in his hands

Alexis Tsipras has rejected talks on a new Greek coalition. Photo: ITV News

In an exclusive interview in the Guardian newspaper Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the left wing, anti-austerity bloc, says Greece is on the frontline of a war that is engulfing Europe.

We have never been in such a bad place. After two and a half years of catastrophe Greeks, are on their knees. The social state has collapsed, one in two youngsters is out of work, there are people leaving en masse, the climate psychologically is one of pessimism, depression, mass suicides.

He says that the current European policy of propping up Greece through huge handouts is not working.

"It is like throwing money at a bottomless pit" he says.

European tax payers should know that if they are giving money to Greece, it should have an effect … it should go towards investments and underwriting growth so that the Greek debt problem can be confronted because with this recipe we are not confronting the debt problem, the real issue.

He said he was willing to tear up the country's €130 billion bailout agreement reached in March this year, due to the conditions attached.

Keynes said it many years ago. It's not just the person who borrows but the person who lends who can find himself in a difficult position. If you owe £5,000 to the bank, it's your problem but if you owe £500,000, it's the bank's problem.

This is a common problem. It's our problem. Its Merkel's problem. It's a European problem. Its a world problem.

Greece has received more than €240 billion in bailout loans from the EU and the IMF :

  • €110 billion in May 2010
  • €130 billion in March 2012