Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tsipras states that referendum is fundamental to democracy and states that the Greek nation is called to show “daring and virtue”

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that he will not be riled into a political skirmish by responding to main opposition ND party leader Antonis Samaras’ accusations as the whole of Greece knows their role in bringing the country to where it is today.  He says that today will remain in history as a day when eurozone members cast out a member not allowing the leader of a democratic country to express itself as it has a right to do. “We will all respect the result. We will defend democracy, popular sovereignty and the founding values of Europe,” he said.

“We will not ask, in the land where democracy was born, the permission of Mr. Schaeuble and Mr. Dijsselbloem to give the floor to the Greek people,” he said. He said Europe shouldn’t fear referendums – many countries have held them before, including in cases where treaties such as Maastricht were implemented.

He accused the International Monetary Fund of coming to Europe to cause a rift.

“Yesterday our creditors blackmailed us with the threat of depriving liquidity,” he said. “Today they used the fear of a bank run.” He referred to a “propaganda of fear” but he argued that the referendum could shake it off.

Though Greece is a peaceful country, he said that the country is not afraid of fighting when necessary. “We negotiated with our back to the wall,” he said. “Despite these conditions, every citizen in this land knows that Greece over these months, and the Greek government has made an honest effort to negotiate with decisiveness and dignity.”

Tsipras said that the IMF presence zeroed the chances of an “honorable compromise.”

“They asked us to place the burden on pensioners… to cut pensions, even the subsidy for the lowest pensions,” said Tsipras. “They made it clear that they weren’t interested in measures to tax wealth and would not include these in the measures.” He pointed to the contradictions in negotiations and backtracking on agreements that had already been made. Tsipras criticized creditors for insisting on further cuts to pension spending, hitting the poorest and refusing to raise the minimum wage.

Tsipras pointed to the creditors’ demands on VAT in tourism. “Who are they working on?” “What interest do they serve?” “Why do they want to create problems to Greece’s greatest asset – tourism?” were some of the questions Tsipras asked.

After listing all the demands the creditors had offered, he pointed to the vague pledges given in return. He said that the measures would have brought “slow death” to Greece.

“Once you said that we were leading the country to the rocks. Next, you said that we were signing memorandums,” he said, referring to the opposition’s contradictory criticism. “Perhaps there was envy that we are doing what you wanted to do but couldn’t, which is resist!”

“Greece will not surrender! Greece is not a game that’s over!” he said, adding that the intent was for an “honorary compromise” and for a truly “viable solution”. He said that he wanted an honest negotiation, not blackmail.

A referendum is not a “coup” as some suggest, said the leader, who points out that calling the people on their own future is not a problem. He said that the result of the referendum will be respected.  He criticized efforts to turn a memorandum on creditors’ proposals into a memorandum for an exit from the euro, adding that this is not the intent of the government.

“Greece is not a visitor or guest in the European structure. We are equal amongst equals. No one has the right to show us the door out from our common house and we are not intending to give anyone this right at any rate,” he said, pointing to the popular mandate on January 25 that gave an opportunity to Europe to change its course. The vote also gave “Troika” the chance to become “institutions” to become democratic organs, but they chose to “continue being troika that kill democracy in Europe.”

“We don’t have the right to make Greece a debt colony for the next few decades,” he said, adding that there would be no death plaque placed on democracy in the land where democracy has lived for thousands of years.

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