Excerpts from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ speech in the greek Parliament

July 23, 2015 | categories : News, Prime Minister, Speeches

Concerning the negotiations:

“…We were faced with a difficult compromise, having exhausted all of our negotiating efforts. The Greek economy and the banking system were stretched to their limits. Europe’s limits were also exposed: its limits and tolerance of democracy and the democratic choice of its people …  The conservative forces – without a doubt – achieved a Pyrrhic victory against the Greek Government, against the Greek people, against Greece. However, these forces lost something very valuable in the process: the loss of faith in their leadership when it comes to European and global public opinion…”

Concerning the resumption of the negotiations:

“… Upon the approval of this last package of prerequisite actions by the Parliament – per the July 12th agreement, we will resume our negotiations with the same tenacity and fighting spirit, to shape the terms of the loan agreement.

The outcome of this negotiation will be of crucial importance, and thus, we must seek broad support. We must pursue all possibilities for political and social alliances in Europe to achieve the best possible result.

So that the final text of the agreement will benefit the greater social majority, which acknowledges this fight, which shares our worries. It is to this majority that we owe today’s opportunity to be able to affect measures that have a direct negative impact, to improve them, to suggest countervailing measures, and to claim funds to help alleviate the burden on those social groups that have faced the negative impact of the crisis…”

Concerning the “Grexit” issue:

“… The “Grexit” issue must be resolved once and for all. For certain partners, this idea, this plan remains in the back of their minds… Even now, just a few days ago, during a meeting between the US Secretary of the Treasury and the German Finance Minister, this plan was suggested once again, by the German side.

No matter what agreement one reaches, no matter how positive the financing outlook may seem, no matter the prospects one might have of getting rid of the specter that has been haunting the country for the last five years, if certain individuals deliberately keep raising this issue, the specter will continue to haunt us…”

Concerning the debt’s restructuring:

“… The Agreement that we will begin negotiating tomorrow also includes another very important—if not more important—component: an explicit, clear commitment to debt restructuring, so that the debt be made viable. This is an important development. We are no longer discussing whether a restructuring is needed, but rather how extensive a restructuring is needed …”

Concerning the government’s initiatives:

“… Beginning tomorrow, and in conjunction with the negotiation, the government’s policy will focus on four main areas in order to achieve the country’s progressive reconstruction.

The first area is the fight against corruption and vested interests. Today we published for public consultation purposes the bill that will, at last, put an end to the unaccountability of vested interests, and will establish a system of transparency in the broadcasting landscape…

In addition, we are taking the initiative to combat tax evasion… We are commencing the fight against corruption and organized crime by enabling the Justice system to perform its duty, unencumbered.

Furthermore, we are initiating a dialogue to promote important reforms and necessary changes regarding the political system. We are focusing targeted actions that will support the weakest social groups. And of course we are trying to attract direct investment to the country to offset the recessionary trends in the economy…”

Concerning the protection of primary residences from being auctioned:

“… I want to state in the strongest possible terms that the changes to the Code of Civil Procedure that are being approved by the Parliament today and that will take effect on January 1, 2016, will not jeopardize the protection of primary residences… There will be no auction of primary residences. This Government will continue to protect primary residences… None of the unemployed, the laborers, those with low incomes, pensioners with low pensions, and those with a mortgage in a working class neighborhood, in a poor neighborhood, in a deprived neighborhood, will lose their house…”

Concerning the Left in government:

“…Some maintain that, under the present circumstances, it doesn’t matter which parties govern. Indeed, some even state that the Left wants to remain in government solely for power, to hold office.

I am saddened by these statements. However, I have no choice but to address them.

As far as my own values and ethics are concerned, the Left is not in government for the sake of holding office. It is the stronghold of the interests of our people! A stronghold for the protection of those who have been wronged! A stronghold for the fight against vested interests in the country!

As far as I’m concerned, I have no intention of abandoning this stronghold. We will not back down, nor will we ignore our responsibilities. We will not become apologists for lost battles. Because the only battles that have been lost are those that yet to take place!

The challenges ahead will be pursued with the same fighting spirit, the same faith in our strength, the same dignity. They will be fights that will be won.”