Amid a complete security lock-down of the town of Mytilene on the island of Lesvos, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras accused the press of attempting to cultivate an atmosphere of fear in an effort to force him to cancel his visit.
Addressing a partisan crowd in the context of the 14th Regional Meeting for Reconstruction, the Greek MP blasted the local politicians for opting to not attend his speech and the meeting’s proceedings. Commenting on Greece’s his claims that Greece is on a path to economic recovery, Mr Tsipras said that the whole of Europe was talking about the country returning to a state of normalcy.
“[When] President Juncker (European Commission President) is talking about a clean exit from the bailout programme in a few months when the head of the OECD is talking about a feat of the Greek people, it is futile for us to be wasting time on barren debates aimed at winning the impressions. If the opposition thinks reality is different, what can I do? I am not concerned with entering a shadow boxing match, but dealing with the battle for the economy, unemployment, which is where we have to give the fight.”
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the North Aegean Region had been heavily burdened with the refugee crisis. “It is very difficult for migrants, as well as for the locals of Lesvos. But I want to remind you what happened three years ago when we had 5,000 people a day. I have to say that with the humanist attitude of the inhabitants of Lesvos and the inhabitants of the other islands, they saved not only the honour of the Greeks but the honour of Europe when others set up barriers”.