Meeting with the President of the European Council, Mr D. Tusk

Welcoming European Council President Donald Tusk at the Maximos Mansion, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said:

“We are in a crucial moment facing great challenges in Europe as a whole. We are only a few days after the Rome Conference, which reaffirmed our interest in ensuring unity in Europe, responding positively to our citizens expectations.

It is vital to take decisions, to ensure stability and unity in the wider region and to try to overcome all those who are trying to hinder this path. It is also important to leave the economic crisis behind us and ensure stability in the context of the important agreements that we undertaken collectively regarding the refugee crisis, the EU-Turkey agreement, which we all know is fragile, but we should try to apply it the best way possible.

We are also facing the challenge of emerging right-wing populism, the far-right populist forces in Europe. I am convinced that you, as President of the European Council and all the Member States, will take their on the responsibility to keep Europe united and safe. ”

For his part, Donald Tusk said:

“Thank you very much, Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras.

I came here as a friend, as you know. Greece and Athens are like my second home and it’s not just a slogan, it’s the truth. For many reasons, for historical reasons, for emotional reasons and for me personally. During your term in office and during all these difficult and demanding times throughout Europe, Greece has become an excellent example of solidarity.

I know how difficult it was for you, as Prime Minister and of course for the Greek citizens. And I know almost everything about your sacrifices and your determination.

Thank you very much for your efforts and I am very happy that today we will start our discussion in a little better mood regarding the second evaluation of the Greek program and the relevant decisions. Of course we must be very conscious and very cautious but today in this context I feel more optimistic than yesterday and I hope tomorrow we shall both be even more optimistic.

We are still far from a successful economic story, but because of your determination, the responsibility and pragmatism you are showing, we are close to completing this demanding process.

That’s what I wanted to say, for my part, and I thank you for your efforts. “