New Greek PM Alexis Tsipras addressed his party’s Parliament group (149 MPs) on Thursday in his first public appearance after a whirlwind “fence-mending” tour of Europe this week.
Tsipras paid lightning visits to Cyprus, France, Italy and Brussels.
Addressing his parliament group — and a much wider audience in the country, given that the address was televised — he said “you are part of the Greek peoples’ modern history and you should not forget this”.
“We gave hope and an identity to a country recognized around the globe. Greece has become a positive point in all of Europe,” was Tsipras’ positive spin in an otherwise “wait-and-see” attitude throughout much of official Europe.
“We do not just feel proud for the previous generations who bled for this country, but also because on Jan. 26, citizens are able to ‘breathe’ again… Democracy and dignity has returned to the country where it was born”. He reiterated that Greece now has its own voice and bargaining power. “It took a week for the conversation agenda to change across Europe and for Greece to become a talking point across the world… It took a week to tear down a European standard which calls for more austerity and less democracy. We are a sovereign country, we have a democracy, we have an agreement with our people and we will honor it. The Greek government poses no threat to any European balance, but a hope for the big changes needed to take place in Europe in order for democracy to prevail.
Speaking on his talks with a bevy of European leaders that did not include Angela Merkel, Tsipras said the goal was not to create new rifts between the north and south but to tear down failed policies, and reach a new agreement