Members of the GUE/NGL Presidium, Gabi Zimmer, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Malin Björk as well as Parliament Vice-President Dimitris Papadimoulis, met today with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the occasion of the group's study days in Athens.
Welcoming the group to Greece and thanking GUE/NGL for its support during these critical times, Prime Minister Tsipras told the MEPs that his government was at the end of a very difficult negotiation and was doing its best to keep Europe intact. He explained that his government had taken many steps back in order to create a more stable situation for the whole of Europe and said he was convinced that EU leaders would take the road to reality as the Greek government had made some very realistic proposals to avoid past mistakes and give Greece a chance to recover.
Concluding, Prime Minister Tsipras said that the time had come for Greece to move forward without the mistakes of the past, stressing that this was his government's basic non-negotiable position.
In response, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer thanked the Prime Minister and said it was an honour for the group to be in Athens for its Study Days.
Gabi Zimmer said the group shared his opinions that we have to change the way Europe is moving forward and that the battle being waged by Greece does not concern only Greece but was equally important for other European countries and people. Media reports that the current countdown to find a solution for Greece was not only the last opportunity for Greece but for the European Union as a whole. She warned that if these negotiations fail, it would be a disaster for the whole European Union.
She concluded by saying that for the GUE/NGL group it was clear that under austerity policies, European values were failing and that it was impossible to keep defending human, social and ecological rights if these policies continue to be implemented in Europe. In this regard, she told the Prime Minister, that the fight he is waging is not only for Greece but for all European citizens and that we would have to do more to mobilise citizens too.
GUE/NGL Press Contact in Athens:
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 646628