While the negotiations between the Greek side with the Troika of the country’s lenders appear to have reached a dead-end, PASOK leader and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos admits that there are obstacles blocking Greece’s exit from the bailout program.
In the statements on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council, on the challenges to European security and the Greek economy, Mr. Venizelos said that our partners have reservations about leaving us without a Memorandum and strict monitoring, adding that he believes main opposition SYRIZA is to blame for the fact that Greece’s lenders are asking for guarantees.
Read below the detailed statements made by Mr. Venizelos:
“Here in Basel, Switzerland, the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is looking mainly at the crisis in Ukraine and, thus, at the crisis in the relations between the West and Russia, as well as at the more general problem of European security, which interests us in particular because Greece is and must remain a stable solid point of reference in a turbulent region.
This has to do not only with the economic and social situation, but also with the country’s foreign policy and security policy. So everything that happens at these multilateral meetings has a direct practical impact on our narrow national issues. And we have to bear this in mind if we want to have a well-planned, long-term and consensual foreign policy.”
In response to a journalist’s question regarding developments on the economic front, Mr. Venizelos stated the following:
“Every Greek citizen rightly wonders why the negotiations are so tough and long. ‘What’s holding things up?’ Why is a country like Greece, after five years of sacrifices – now that it can show a primary surplus, positive growth rates, a strong banking system – having difficulty officially exiting the Programme and transitioning to a new phase without a Memorandum or Troika?
The question is, Why do our partners have reservations about leaving us without a Memorandum and strict monitoring? What is it that they don’t trust? It is obvious that the reason is profoundly political. When there is an opposition proposing things that can lead to the derailment of Greece – not of Europe – and to the loss of our achievements within a few days, it is reasonable that there should be reservations and a toughened stance, so that the necessary guarantees can be provided.
The necessary guarantees will be provided, given the will on the part of the Greek people. Because we are acting in the name of the Greek people and we have to have strength. We have to have domestic support to be able to assert the truth. And the truth is, Greece satisfies all of the requirements for exiting the Programme, for exiting the Memorandum and the Troika and embarking on a new era of seriousness and responsibility, functioning harmoniously together with the other European countries, but on an equal footing.”