ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ
Παρασκευή, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012
We all fight for the same cause: European Integration is our cause, but Integration with Freedom and social Market Economy Principles Prosperity, Competitiveness, Responsibility, Accountability, Justice and Solidarity.
All these ideals shape-up our common identity; they define who we are, what we stand for and where we want to go.
They determine our character, they determine our destiny; in Europe and beyond. These ideals are global; they transcend geographical or historical borders.
They are also inseparable: There is no Europe without Democracy; there is no Democracy without Responsibility and Accountability; there is no Prosperity without Competitiveness; there is no Democracy and Prosperity without Justice and Solidarity – Social Justice within society and Solidarity among our societies.
Dear Colleagues, dear friends
We are also fighting against common enemies: Populism and Extremism, to name just the two most important at this conjuncture.
–Populism is turning people against themselves, and undermines their future.
–Extremism is tearing societies apart, undermining political unity and social cohesion.
I have come here to express my gratitude to everyone of you, but , also, to express the determination of the Greek people to fight hard, to correct past mistakes, to defeat populism and extremism, to make a spectacular come back.
Indeed, there were some people that were quick to “write-off” Greece. We heard them speaking repeatedly in public, about the “futility” of supporting Greece. In some instances, the same people were ready to write-off the euro as a whole and the European project altogether…
Some others were telling us that, for the euro to survive, Greece had to go; to be abandoned…
I am standing in front of you today and I am telling you that an exit from the euro-zone is not a choice for Greece; it is nightmare…
For us, it is not an option. It is a total disaster!
And it is not going to be easy, for the rest of our partners. Because once a country is out of the euro-zone, world speculators will start hitting the next “weakest link”! And then the next one…
To give you an idea, just think of Greece for a moment.
It has already gone through the fifth consecutive year of a deep recession, something unprecedented in Europe.
During these recessionary years, Greece lost more than 20% of its pre-crisis output, something unprecedented in the whole world during Peace Times.
And please remember, that we are striving through all these hardships in the middle of a destabilizing geopolitical environment.
Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Spain at this point share a disproportionate burden of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants fleeing away from civil wars and spreading social unrest in the doorsteps of Europe.
All we are trying now is to respect our pledges and fulfill our obligations, bring recovery as soon as possible and sustain social cohesion.
Fulfilling our obligations is what we have to do.
Speeding up the recovery is what we need to do.
Combining them is both a challenge and a plan!
Before anything else we are eliminating our credibility gap. Greece respects itself, its signature and its obligation. There is a Program that Greece has to bring to fruition. There are targets that Greece has to meet. All these are priorities for us.
On the other hand, Greece can “grow out” of its problems. It has all the potential and the competitive advantages, the resources and the assets – human and material – to make a spectacular come back; a growth come back. Through enhancing entrepreneurship, fighting bureaucracy, eliminating red tape and corruption; fighting tax evasion; opening up the economy; pushing ahead with privatization projects, sustaining social cohesion and bringing out the best of our people.
This is exactly what we intend to do.
We will turn a tragic instance to a success story. An economic crisis, to a growth model. A social crisis, threatening to spread all over the European south, to a turning point that will bring Europe together; proving to everybody that Europe can resolve its problems and come out of its crisis stronger, more united and more resolved to survive and thrive.
Just imagine what a big boost a Greek success story will be for Europe as a whole, and for all people, all over the world aspiring our ideals of Freedom, Democracy and Justice.
I stand here, in front of you and I am telling you: we are going to make it; the Greek people are going to prevail; and our success story at this point of time, will be a message of hope, transcending borders way beyond Greece; and beyond Europe for that matter…