Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says it would have been ''irresponsible'' not to have made contingency plans in case Athens was forced out of the euro. David Pollard reports.
Yes, we did have an emergency plan, but, no, there was no plot to take Greece out of the euro. Alexis Tsipras forced to defend his government - and his former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. Who this week revealed efforts to hack into citizens' tax codes to create a parallel payment system in case Greece's debt crisis forced it out of the euro. That prompted shock and outrage. The Greek prime minister is trying to quell a rebellion within his Syriza party over Greece's bailout negotiations. He said that if Greece's creditors had a plan for a Grexit, so should Greece. And this about Varoufakis. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "You can blame him as much as you want for his political plan, for his statements, for his taste in shirts, for vacations in Aigina. But you cannot accuse him of having been a crook, you cannot accuse him of stealing the money of Greek people, and you cannot blame him for having a covert plan." The defence came as Greece began talks with creditors to nail down a third bailout of up to 86 billion euros. The meeting got under way at a hotel in central Athens rather than at government ministries, part of efforts to keep the visit by EU/IMF officials discreet and less intrusive than in the past.