“Greece has come around a difficult foreland,” said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, speaking at a pre-electoral rally in the city of Patras, northern Peloponnese, on Saturday evening, expressing how pleased he feels to be addressing the proud city where leftist mathematician Nikos Temboneras was martyred during students’ protests in 1991.
- Four years ago Greece had four million citizens living under the poverty line, 1.5 million unemployed, cashless national insurance funds and a 25 percent state deficit, said Tsipras, adding that “this was the country we ‘inherited’ from the previous governments of Samaras and Venizelos.”
“Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his associates are not keen to pursue a radical political change, but are only aiming to simply perform a change in politics,” said Tsipras and appeared adamant that his political opposition wants to “return to yesterday’s Greece, to regress,” and said that this cannot be allowed to happen.
- Tsipras accused the opposition of being biased in favor of the country’s elites, in favor of “off-shore accounts and clientelism and relations of political patronage.”
- “Greece cannot return to the hands of those who brought it in the verge of bankruptcy,” said the prime minister, and went on to say that his government dealt with the humanitarian crisis, giving 3 billion euros towards social welfare policies, and “reopened the hospital gates to some 2.5 million uninsured citizens,” adding that some 350,000 new jobs were created.
“Mitsotakis and his party have only fought hard to prevent Greece exiting the memoranda on August 21, 2018, thus preventing real change,” said Tsipras.
“He was advocating disaster and collapse, scaremongering about pension cuts or a fourth memorandum,” said Tsipras, adding that “as elections draw nearer, they are getting anxious, employing every trick in the book, trying to create a negative virtual reality against SYRIZA’s dynamic potential.”
- The Prime Minister mentioned “fake news and fake polls and fake front pages in newspapers, and fake fighters for Macedonia in northern Greece” so that a negative political atmosphere ahead of the May 26 European elections be created by the opposition.
“But the result of the European elections will crush this virtual reality,” said Tsipras, and went on to say that soon will be the first time in a European election that voters will not reject the government, but the opposition.
Europe stands at a crossroads, said Alexis Tsipras, and warned of the rise of right-wing and far-right political forces, against what he believes is a “path to progress, the progressive way.”
- “The supporters of austerity are hand-in-glove with the racists and the nationalists,” said Tsipras.
“New Democracy is marching to the tune of Victor Orban, the tune of nationalism, wanting to build a new Europe of oligarchs upon the ruins of labor rights and personal freedoms,” added Tsipras.
“There is another Europe, said the Greek Prime Minister, “a Europe of solidarity, of shared responsibility, a Europe of the people, of social rights, of equality,” he concluded.