GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer and European Parliament Vice-President Dimitrios Papadimoulis took the floor in the EP today asking for respect for the Greek people and a rapid solution to the crisis, in the presence of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Responding to previous heads of political groups, Gabi Zimmer said it was not the time given the deep crisis which is most tangible for people in Greece for other MEPs “to use this stage to demonstrate their theatrical talents.”

Addressing EPP leader Manfred Weber directly, she said “we don't need your arrogant know-it-all attitude, a German schoolmaster approach and blunt anti-communism at this time. It will not provide any answers. The troublemakers have to be stopped in order not to threaten a solution”. Donald Tusk, on the other hand, with a “more sober, restrained and moderate attitude when setting out the Council's position” was the approach to follow.

Ms Zimmer was adamant that something had to be done now. “Let's learn lessons from the history of Germany and Europe. Germany didn't have to pay its debt for decades and in the London debt conference in 1953 a big part of its debt was cancelled. The way ahead is to get around a table to find solutions which are sustainable and will last. We must respect the people in Greece and the decision taken on Sunday.”

For Dimitrios Papadimoulis, ” A united Europe without Greece is like a child without a birth certificate. The Greek government and Greek people do not want a Grexit nor do the Commission and Council; it would come with a huge cost, in economic, social and geopolitical terms. All of you urgently need to do what needs to be done, whatever it takes.”  He continued: “The word “Grexit” needs to be wiped from European vocabulary.”

Addressing other heads of political groups, he asked Manfred Weber “to stop offending Greece and the Greeks, stop playing with matches in a barrel of explosives”. To Marine Le Pen and Nigel  Farage, he asked them to stop playing a populist game to push forward far-right expectations and desires.

“We want a balanced approach, fairer taxes, and an end to clientelism. We must break the oligarchy of the rich and limit corruption and bureaucracy. We need a European-style solution to the debt problem, we need to support growth and make sure funding is available to facilitate this.”

MEP Papadimoulis concluded: “This is no time for a blame game, none of us could bear a Grexit; our common interest is to have a self-respecting and growing Greece. I hope the powers of growth, democracy and optimism will win by Sunday. “

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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