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Greek PM Tsipras says has mandate for radical change

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his ministers on Wednesday voters had given them a mandate for radical change that would restore national sovereignty but pledged to negotiate responsibly with international creditors.

[ATHENS] Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his ministers on Wednesday voters had given them a mandate for radical change that would restore national sovereignty but pledged to negotiate responsibly with international creditors.

Noting that the mood towards Greece was changing since his leftwing party's sweeping election victory on Sunday, Mr Tsipras said he would avoid antagonism with European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors.

"We won't get into a mutually destructive clash but we will not continue a policy of subjection," he said at the start of the first meeting of the newly installed cabinet.

He added that he expected a "productive" meeting on Friday with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the eurozone finance ministers' group.

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He said the government would pursue balanced budgets but would not seek to build up "unrealistic surpluses" to service Greece's massive public debt of more than 175 per cent of gross domestic product.

Priorities would be helping the weakest sections of society, with policies to attack endemic clientelism and corruption in the economy, reduce waste and cut Greece's record unemployment.

REUTERS

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