By G. Kampourakis
Incumbent Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday evening more-or-less ruled out the prospect of stepping down from the leadership of the left-wing SYRIZA party if he's dealt with an election defeat on Sunday.
"I have nothing to prove or give an account for," was Tsipras' curt response to a question during a live appearance on the Skai broadcaster's prime-time newscast - which coincided with the lifting of an "embargo" of the specific media outlet by Tsipras himself.
He also dismissed the notion that he's only "keeping up appearances" ahead of a projected defeat to center-right New Democracy (ND) on Sunday, saying he believes his party can pull an upset. The forecasts come in all mainstream opinion polls over the recent period.
Pressed further over his coalition government's performance since assuming power in January 2015, and especially over its inaugural five months of shambolic negotiations with creditors, he said:
"The country didn't begin to exist in 2015. Elections were held in (September) 2015 with an agreement on the table. That wasn't the case in 2009, nor later, when Mr. Samaras (his conservative predecessor) left us (in January 2015) with 28 percent unemployment and empty coffers. I told the truth to the Greek people that I would clash (with the creditors). The (game) board may have been rigged, and yes, I then compromised, but I told the truth to the Greek people, who came to the ballot box with a full understanding of the situation," he said, referring to the snap election in September 2015 - after a controversial and divisive referendum result was ignored and after he negotiated, signed and passed a third bailout.