During a debate on this week's EU summit in the European Parliament this afternoon, GUE/NGL MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis said that it was in the best interests of both Greece and the EU to find a shared solution to the Greek problem.
MEP Papadimoulis said: “At the beginning of the week, there were announcements and statements that sounded as if we were one day away from a Greek solution. The Greek proposal was supposed to be a good basis; we were supposed to be on the verge of an agreement. Then all of a sudden, the IMF and certain conservative governments, who are in a minority at the European level, started to undermine these proposals. It seems they don't want to reach agreement, even if it is in the shared interests of Greece and the EU. They want to humiliate the Greek people.”
He continued: “The Greek government with the Commission services have put forward a proposal which ensures proper public finances and a primary surplus; which puts forward ways of combating red tape, bureaucracy and a client state; which would put an end to the early retirement of people of 40 and 50 years of age, which has been in place for decades in Greece. Now is the time for everyone to make a contribution to help move towards a solution so that the word “Grexit” can be banned from the EU lexicon and the Greek people and the country can embark on a path to growth.”
“With the Troika, the EU rulebook has been breached, especially when you see 30% cuts in wages and salaries, 25% recession, debt rising from 125% to 180% of GDP. We must put our house in order but we've got to embark on a sustainable basis for the future and that must be based on shared responsibility. There has to be a solution – it's a matter of urgency; it's essential, it's there and ready, certainly in the light of Monday's discussions.”
Addressing Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, he said the IMF need not be at the heart of the EU forever. Europe has both the mechanisms and the institutions to respond. “Let us respect democracy. Greece and the Greek government are willing to cooperate but the Greek people are not going to bend to any further humiliation.”