Coalition of the Radical Left - Unitary Social Front
Last quote about Coalition of the Radical Left - Unitary Social Front
All quotes about Coalition of the Radical Left - Unitary Social Front
This is the message I will deliver to (Greek Prime Minister) Alexis Tsipras.
In spite of the slim majority the SYRIZA led coalition government had a relatively quite night in parliament as it successfully managed to pass the 2016 budget through. There's no guarantee however, that this will be repeated in a few weeks time when further austerity legislation including a bill on the reform on social security with substantial pension slashes will be presented to the Greek national assembly.
Our goal was, and still is, the deep and radical reform of the economic, productive and social model of the country. To support labour rights, employment; the broadening of the social state, the protection of public property, fair taxation, and the protection of the environment.
It has become something of a tradition to turn the commemoration of the 1973 student uprising into a protest against the policies of the government of the day. And it is apparent that the demonstrators are making no exception for the Syriza party of the radical left that has been ruling Greece for the past ten months.
This is the first time that a coalition government completed their mandate. It was the first time.
New political parties, with a substantial vote base, have emerged from the social unrest in Greece and Spain – Syriza and Podemos – why not in Portugal?
Mr Tsipras apparently chose the right timing for the election, just before the tornado of the new austerity measures breaks out.
In the last nine months, Alexis Tsipras has managed to win two national elections and a referendum. The question now is whether he will be equally successful in pushing forward with the reforms he agreed with the country's lenders last July and drive the badly-damaged Greek economy back onto the road of growth.
Greek society wants to move away from the old political system and the message of this election is not just the reaffirmation of Alexis Tsipras' potential, but also the rejection of the old political establishment.
My friends, the mandate that we have been given by the Greek people today is also a crystal clear message for us to untangle viciousness and a world of corruption that all these years have been governing this country.
I feel the deep ethical and political obligation to lay before your judgement everything I have done both right and wrong, achievements and omissions.
You are on your way out, and you brought catastrophe.
The verdict of the Greek people ends, beyond any doubt, the vicious circle of austerity in our country.
More than 20 opinion polls taking in the whole country over the last two weeks and covering all the parties have given a fairly clear estimate of the percentage of the votes they are going to get on Sunday. The parties, therefore, have focused on attracting as many as possible of the so-called undecided voters – the ones that apparently will determine the final outcome of this election.
Analysts are very reluctant to makes forecasts. They can't be sure if the undecideds will be evenly distributed between the bigger and smaller parties, or will shift towards one of the two main contestants so that one of them might even win an absolute majority.
With your vote, you will judge if the agreement has the right conditions to break this impasse, to help revive the economy, and whether this helps us to put an end to memoranda and cruel austerity measures.
In any case the vast majority of opinion polls are showing the two main contestants – SYRIZA and New Democracy – neck-and-neck, sometimes with less than one percentage point difference between them.
Talking to our Athens correspondent, Stamatis Giannisis. Stamatis, what is the latest from the election campaign? What are the polls showing?
A few hours before the election campaign officially starts, the political parties seem fragmented. The main issue at the heart of the pre-election debate will definitely be the third bailout programme as the next government will have to implement unpopular measures and difficult reforms which, on the other hand, are considered necessary for Greece to get the sufficient amount of money to finance the economy.
I am proud of the battle my government and I have fought. We fought to stay true to our promises. We negotiated hard and insistently, for a very long time, we held out against pressures and blackmail. It's true, we reached the limit. But we made the Greek issue into an international issue.
It would be unfair for the government to be brought down by its own deputies.
I think such a goal is attainable.
"The bailout cannot be a unifying basis for Syriza,". "The bailout cannot be the programme of Syriza, it falls outside its values, these are incompatible notions.".
Elections are not the best choice … but for the economy to pick up there must be political stability. To implement such a serious programme with painful measures, you cannot do that without a popular mandate.
I consider it self-evident after the deep wound in Syriza's parliamentary group for there to be such a move.
The bailout cannot be a unifying basis for Syriza. The bailout cannot be the programme of Syriza, it falls outside its values, these are incompatible notions.
"Elections are not the best choice … but for the economy to pick up there must be political stability,". "To implement such a serious programme with painful measures, you cannot do that without a popular mandate.".
"It would be unfair for the government to be brought down by its own deputies,"
But there is another view, which is respected, that doesn't accept the government's analysis and believes there was an alternative available in the early morning hours of July 13. If this is the case….then I suggest the party hold a referendum on this crucial question.
It will require sufficient financing so that the program is actually credible and the element of debt restructuring, which will allow the Greek economy to walk on, not necessarily two legs as I have said, but four legs. It takes fiscal, structural reforms, financing, debt restructuring.
The external debt problem of Greece was transformed into a Greek private debt problem, with most families not being able to pay their taxes, pay social security contributions, pay mortgage loans,etc. That's why I thought as an economist that this was not really the appropriate programme for Greece.
I'm a businessman and I'm quitting. I'm done. And I'd like to see what kind of revenue the state will get when no one is working.
After a heated debate that lasted until the early morning hours of Thursday Alexis Tsipras' coalition government apparently won the battle but not the war as the left wing hard liners of Greece's Syriza ruling party once again stood their ground opposing the agreement with the country's lenders.
We are not in favour of the measures, we do not support Syriza's government, but we support our homeland and so we vote 'yes' to secure our country's place in the euro, we vote 'yes' to restore the trust that was lost because of your actions.
What we are called upon to do is implement a difficult deal, a deal that was forced upon us, which will have negative effects on the majority of society.
The cabinet reshuffle was unavoidable for prime minister Tsipras after key radical left-wing ministers refused to support the new deal with the country's creditors. The question now is whether this revamped Syriza-led coalition will be able to implement the austerity provisions in this agreement without further political losses.
Despite the defection of about a quarter of his own MPs – and with a lot of help from the Opposition – Alexis Tsipras won the most crucial parliament vote since becoming prime minister. The question is, whether or not he'll be able to repeat this feat in a weeks time when the Greek National Assembly will be called to vote – this time in detail – on the latest austerity measures.
Prime Minister Tsipras has a serious cohesion issue in his government, as well as a deep division in his party. For the moment and until the agreement with the lenders is finalised, he will deal with neither, as the economy is the top priority for him. Afterwards, however, I believe disagreements inside the Syriza party will be inevitable.
A national election won't really be necessary if the mainstream political parties get together and find some common ground. Then we can either continue with this government, or alternatively, form a national multi-party coalition.
This 'blackmail' that you refer to, do you believe it is real or imagined? If you believe it is imagined, then I am open to alternative options, and we can go forward that way. If, however, you believe the blackmail is real, then there is no other option than for all of us to share the burden of this responsibility.
Despite 17 defections from members of the coalition government, Alexis Tsipras won the Greek parliament's approval to go ahead with the new reform plans with the country's creditors. But the mutinies have caused great concern among the Syriza leadership in light of the fresh austerity measures the national assembly will soon have to pass.
It took almost seven hours to Alexis Tsipras in order to gain the support of most opposition leaders but the question now is whether he will be able to convince his European counterparts and lenders who are expecting him in Brussels on Sunday evening not with the friendliest intentions.
The prime minister insists a 'no' on Sunday doesn't mean no to the Euro or no to Europe. But Alexis Tsipras has asked Greeks to think about the future of the country when they come to vote and promised that new negotiations would start on Monday.
I don't believe that they want to kick us out of the euro and they won't. They won't, because the cost would be huge.
I support European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker fully to reach an agreement, and also to ask Greece to stick to conditions set. We need a longer-term plan which is also linked to these conditions but which means talking in terms of about five years – so that whoever wants to invest in Greece knows he is investing in a country that will still have the euro a year from now.
Comrades, I believe that we are entering the final straight of the race. One could say that it is now that the real negotiations start and now the capabilities of the Greek government and its determination will be judged, its firm commitment to its goal, which is to find a fair solution.
Although differences between the sides remain, the meeting of the three leaders confirmed that Greece and its European partners do still want a solution. The technical talks will now take precedence over the coming days with the next important meeting being held today between Alexis Tsipras and Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.
Claiming that Greece is facing a humanitarian crisis, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his radical left Syriza party are refusing to give in to creditors demands, saying additional austerity measures would do nothing more than deal another blow to the country's flailing economy.
I started a dialogue with them, saying that I wanted to hear them out, even if that meant that I would be hit.
Regardless of the fear and aversion that arbitrary violence causes us, the answer to these people's anger and acts of violence cannot and should not be either a retreat nor a violent restraint.
If we look at the situation in Europe though, there's also another interesting phenomenon that's taking place. We're seeing Greece moving towards the East, potentially, with the Syriza government. We're also seeing Podemos, which is gaining power in Spain, also in Hungary. Do you see that there is a potential for Europe to start shirting and aligning itself more with Russian interests?
Take a look at what's happening. Hungary is a different situation entirely. Syriza came into office on the basis of a popular wave which said that Greece should no longer subject itself to policies from Brussels and the German banks which are destroying the country. The effect of these policies has been actually to increase Greece's debt relative to its wealth production; probably a half of young people are unemployed, probably 40% of the population is living under the poverty line, Greece is being destroyed.
This was a doctored video, it was a gesture I've never made in my life and the German people deserve better media.
In this atmosphere Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker just before next week's EU Summit.
Syriza's Greek win was three years ago and it will take time for him to adjust. He has to make some effort to be less direct and more diplomatic.
What is a good compromise from your perspective on Greece? What will hold water with the other countries that are looking at Syriza and worrying about their own internal political situations?
Syriza has the potential to be different. The ties are not the same, they haven't been in power for long. But I think they will have a hard time totally cleaning up the slate and getting free of all ties.
The verdict of the Greek people, your verdict, cancels today in an indisputable way the bailout agreements of austerity and disaster.
We had created a wonderful experiment which worked as long as we had surpluses, called the euro or the European Union. When the cows were fat and the milk was out there, we were all happy. But now that the cows are thin and the milk is dry, we still haven't found our bearings. And the little canary, Greece, is dying alone because there is no oxygen and instead of saying 'oh guys, we need to get out of this coal mine, and let some oxygen in, we are closing the tap even further.
They did an experiment on us. They tried in this way to reduce deficits and all of that with this experiment but it failed. The patient died.
I decided that because the priorities of the government were more populist, this would make my job increasingly hard. So to give you an example, before elections governments ask the tax office to soften our responses to people who owe tax. Instead of forcing them to pay, by taking measures which are socially harder to swallow, they ask us to be more lenient.
What we have seen in recent weeks is part of the hysteria surrounding all this grexit discussion. I refrain from any speculation in that area but I would argue that it is not a good idea to test the proposition that the Eurozone is better prepared for a grexit. I doubt that this is the case. You may have a new architecture regarding rescue, you may have new financial resources but you have a society and a democratic process here.
I wasn't someone living on other people or not paying my bills. I wasn't shying away from my responsibilities, but life was getting so hard that I couldn't sleep. Two years ago, they found I had cancer and the doctors said it was caused by stress. Finally I followed my friends' advice, they were all doing it, and I stopped paying because I didn't have the money. We just feel, well you brought us to this: we can't pay for anything, do whatever you want, we don't care, put us in jail. End of story.
They "didn't actually go into detailed proposals.
The real challenge is to minimize the social cost that is unnecessary throughout Europe.
Most members of the new Greek cabinet have minimal or no experience at all in government positions, but in those difficult times for the country they will immediately be called to meet the challenges of their assigned posts.
Greece is in the eurozone, it wants to stay in the eurozone and Greece will stay in the eurozone.
We have common goals; ensuring that Greece as a nation can stand on its own two feet, clean up its finances, and become a jobs generator again. A Greece that is growing, and can pay its debts.
If the Greeks commit to what we have agreed with, then, and if necessary – now, these words 'if necessary' refer to the debt sustainability, it's too early to say – we've always said we would come back to debt sustainability issues after the completion of the fifth [bailout] review and that is still pending.
We have already done a lot to lift the debt burden for Greece over the last couple of years, in terms of interest, maturity and the length of the loans.
An era of national humiliation is over.
The markets know exactly that the Greeks of course will receive help. They will not quit because it would threaten the very existence of the euro zone, and we all know about EU financial diplomacy. A dodgy kind of compromise will be found in Greece, with no overt haircut, but a stealth one.
The mandate of the Greek people, your mandate, today cancels in an undisputed manner the memorandums of austerity and destruction. The mandate of the Greek people makes the troika a thing of past in our common European framework.
The new Greek government will be ready to cooperate and negotiate with the European Parliament.
All eyes in Europe are turned on us for one of the most critical elections of the past decades, as Greeks cast their vote to determine who will take the wheel and have the future of the country in their hands.
We will not honour commitments and signatures that previous governments have given, and are not binding for the new Greek government.
To all those who will determine the final result, today I call on you to fight, to unite with us.
Stamatis, in less than 48 hours the polls will open. What can we expect during these last few hours?
On the other hand, Syriza are focusing their efforts on widening this margin to enable them to win an outright majority.
We are now in the final strait and it seems everything will be determined by those undecided voters, most of whom will choose who to vote for only once they get into the ballot booth. Regarding the main two parties fighting for the lead, in New Democracy's case they hope to be able at the last minute to convince several of the undecided voters and overturn the findings of opinion polls who've been putting Syriza first by some distance.
This is a crucial election, but I feel that the people will vote rather with anger than with logic. And this would be the result of the nearly five years of austerity they have lived through.
Europe has nothing to fear from the decision of the Greek people to choose Syriza as the next government of this country. Our programme is one of economic stability and justice. Syriza's victory will herald the beginning for a democratic and social change in Greece.
We in New Democracy are confident that the Greeks will not let their efforts be wasted to the sudden economic death scenarios Syriza is working upon. The Greeks have already chosen stability within the EU and the eurozone and for that matter they have undergone many sacrifices. They won't let those sacrifices perish.
It is the undecided voters who hold the key to the riddle of this crucial election as it is their vote that will determine more than anything else what government Greece will have on Monday morning.
There's an issue of reliability on the financial markets, which has to be taken into account. From our perspective the country has made commitments. The country for its own sake and for its own economic recovery has to do structural reforms that are critically called for and we certainly hope that it honours its commitments.
We presented our recommendation for the need to have a democratic way out and for the people of Greece to choose their future; our recommendation is for a referendum on these measures.
Today we are opening the road to hope. Today we open the road to a better tomorrow with our people united, dignified and proud.
This is definitely the most crucial election in Greece's modern history, as its outcome may herald the beginning of fundamental changes in the country's political, economic and social patterns.
Syriza wants the ballots to produce a solid government with a clear parliamentary majority, a government that can guarantee political stability and with the people's mandate fight for a new economic deal with our European counterparts.
Election campaigning this time, in spite of the country's critical situation, looks somewhat similar to the 2012 campaign. That demonstrates how little political progress has been made since then. I'm afraid that after 25th January the severe economic crisis may also turn into a deep political one.
We are ready to collaborate with the people's first choice. If that choice is Syriza, our condition is that Greece never be allowed to stray from its European path. If it is New Democracy, it must rid itself of ultra-right-wing elements and stop its partisan practices in the public sector.
The Greek voters have a very serious decision to make: choose us and stay within an economic reform programme that will lead the country out of the crisis for good, or vote for Syriza and run the risk of driving Greece into a misadventure of unforeseeable consequences.
If it is going to be afraid of anything it should be afraid of itself. What I am referring to are the dominant strategic policies of extreme austerity, which have been imposed primarily by the main power in Europe, Germany.
We just want to re-negotiate Greece's debts and to find a way to make these debts payable.
I believe an attempt to influence the election in Greece is being made here which is totally inappropriate. The Greek people must decide, and if they decide to elect Syriza, then it is a decision that must be respected.
This is the time of democracy, this is the time of dignity, this is the time for our people to stand up. This is a crucial time.
We welcome the people's power. We welcome every active citizen that will sign our declaration today, and in the coming days when we will travel all over Greece, for our Democrat and Socialists' Movement.
Neither this parliament, nor the Greek people are going to sign a blank cheque to Mr. Samaras in order to let him carry on with the austerity measures that cut down on pensions and health services and ravage Greek society.
The tragedy of today's Eurozone, is the sense of resignation with which the establishment parties of the centre-left and the centre-right are allowing Europe to drift into the economic equivalent of a nuclear winter. It is a particular tragedy that parties of the hard left are the only ones that support sensible policies such as debt restructuring.
This catastrophe must end now. This mistake must be corrected immediately, not after the German elections take place and when it suits Angela Merkel, when it will be too late.
I'm worried, but I don't have money to take out. My main worry is my children. They don't have jobs.
I will take my revenge.
The government had no trouble winning this confidence vote. But the real challenge for the Greek Prime Minister is in February, when he will need a super-majority of 180 MP's in order to elect the next president of the Republic. With a combined conservative /socialist strength of 155 deputies in the 300 strong chamber, Samaras has to secure at least an extra 25 votes for his candidate, otherwise he will have to call an early election.
The goal remains the same; to keep trying, to end the crisis, to end the bailouts, to maintain structural reforms, and, above all, to speed up growth.
With the government's intense efforts to convince more non-coalition MPs to vote for its presidential candidate apparently failing, Greece seems to be heading to the national polls by the end of January or the beginning of February.
In standing for office I have enormous respect for European taxpayers. I would argue that the European Left's proposals have the advantage of being sustainable and good for them too. Because by following the policy that Mrs Merkel advocates, Southern Europe will perpetually need new loans. Because austerity leads to a vicious circle of recession and new rounds of lending.
Let me take a different approach to that issue. Spain didn't have a bailout deal. However, they implement the same mixture of policies as those set out in memorandums for Greece and Portugal. Of course for some particular reasons – to do with dignity perhaps – that Spanish politicians could use as an excuse, Spain didn't end up in the same shameful position as Greece, where the Prime Minister cannot decide anything by himself, neither can the governmental majority, without asking some lowly troika officials who often suggest schizophrenic policies.
Let's start with your candidacy for the Presidency of the European Commission during the next European elections. Why did you decide to say yes?
Syriza guarantees Greece will not continue to be a guinea pig, with the whole burden of a crisis piled on the Greek people – a burden for which they are not responsible.
With the will of our people, in a few days, bailouts tied to austerity will be a thing of the past.The future has already begun.
Today the government of Mr. Samaras, which for 2.5 years ransacked our society and had already decided and agreed on new austerity measures, is over. With the will of the people, in the coming days, the laws on austerity will also become a thing of the past.
It is going into the workshop, so it can come out repaired, clean, and without scandal. I would like to remind you what you said on May 18, you said then that it was a channel of a dictatorship government, a channel of bailout propaganda. I think today you are crying crocodile tears Mr President of Syriza.
The decision to close ERT down has caused the biggest rift so far to the less – than – a – year – old coalition government. If the three party leaders cannot strike a deal over the future of the public broadcaster on their Monday meeting, many political observers in Greece feel that the chances of an early general election will increase dramatically.
With Alexis Tsipras as the candidate from the strongest party in the European Left, the group is seeking a big change in May's European elections. After Madrid, the organisation's next stop will be Brussels in the spring, for a big international conference on debt. This will be at the heart of their alternative campaign against austerity.
His signature and his commitment to the bailout are not a salvation but a tragedy for the people. We fully understand the difficulties the country is facing, but at the same time this decision [in the form of votes], taken by the people, creates possibilities for a radically different course.
Syriza's supporters received the results of the European as well as the regional elections with great enthusiasm. They strongly believe that their victory will entail rapid political developments in the country.
(The German Chancellor) Merkel has conquered Greece and these are the consequences! So here we are, and we probably won't have the opportunity to see it again, so we are disappointed. It's one of those things.
The entire community of teachers feels betrayed, they are destroying technical colleges and this is just the beginning.
There is a river of change that is flowing and whose current cannot be stopped. The days of the Samaras Venizelos government are numbered. The time of the Left is here.
What stands out is how close SYRIZA came… so we expect some robust opposition to the austerity measures. Markets will be concerned about how narrow the margin of victory was for ND and any gains in the euro and other markets will be limited.
How will Greeks decide in such a desperate situation, where each of the two favourite parties accuse the other of leading the country towards failure, even towards apocalypse? If there is a choice, today on Sunday, June 17, it is certainly a very difficult decision between two equally dramatic scenarios.
Fund managers counted on the current government staying in power for at least another year and a half. The possibility of early elections took them by surprise and led to the sell off. The banks are particularly vulnerable as investors are skeptical about the opposition's proposal for state control of the banking system.
Greece sees its sources of liquidity drying up. It is not known when the deal with the troika will be struck so that the final tranche of the aid package can be disbursed. Plus international markets are turning their back on the country.
Never has the country, in the last 60 years, found itself in the dire situation it is in today. There is no doubt that the bailout is not the happiest of documents, as Mr. Stournaras called it, but that it has destroyed Greece and will go down in history as a tragedy.
The Greek economy has adjusted at a very fast rate, and in a very decisive manner, and most importantly, 80 percent of the necessary distance in the fiscal adjustment has been crossed, in order for the public debt to become sustainable.
The national debt should be investigated by an international commission. There should be a moratorium on repayments. A fair and viable European solution is demanded. The crisis is not only Greece's doing. It is a European crisis, and a solution should be demanded within a European framework.
Your policies have destroyed the country. The majority of the people suffer and live in despair.
Under the shadow of tough negotiations with the troika, which are highlighting the great gap between Athens and its foreign creditors, the Greek government finally won a confidence vote. A great number of MP's however, severely criticised the government's policies saying their vote was simply one of tolerance.
The former ERT building is now where NERIT is based. But the self-run ERT OPEN is also broadcasting. This division of the workers is perhaps one of the gravest consequences of ERT's sudden closure.
We feel proud because we decided to fight against the coup that took place on June 11. One year after, we are still here and are continuing. Moreover, we believe we have shown there is another way.
The interest aroused by Alexis Tsipras' visit to Paris confirms that the eyes of Europe are all focused on Greece and the new elections of June 17, elections that Tsipras said he is sure to win.
If a member of a club, I am not now speaking about a specific country but if a member of a club does not respect the rules of the club, it's better not to remain in the club that is for any organization, any institution, in general any project.
This is our last chance, and no one is going to hold us back.
A large, clear victory for Syriza on Sunday ensures an end to the bailout programme, to the ransacking and destruction of the country, to subjection, and to indignity.
We must tell the Greek people that the programme for Greece is the least difficult of all the difficult alternatives.
The government that will be formed with New Democracy at its core needs to seriously take into consideration that on big issues it can no longer proceed as previous governments have done.
In life there is no such thing as a little bit pregnant, just as there is no such thing as a little bit of bailout agreement. Either there are wrong policies, just like the bailout, which we will continue in larger or smaller doses and it will lead us towards catastrophe, or, we will demand another solution, beyond these mistaken, catastrophic policies.
All Greeks will benefit from last night's success. The reform process and regeneration in Greece is now getting stronger. Greece is going to be competitive, European-oriented, and with people who will be proud of it. With a modern democracy and with a society which is united.
The negotiations and the discussions took place between (German Chancellor) Merkel and (the IMF's Christine) Lagarde and they made the compromise. The solution does not include Greece, it does not include a viable plan for Greece, that is why it is not a solution.