Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis today addressed the European Parliament. He began his speech by referring to Greece’s adventure during the years of the memoranda and how Europe reacted to its plight.
“Greece was one step away from the precipice of exit. We were repeatedly hit by waves of blind populism. On this day, a referendum was held that almost gave it the coup de grace. Faced with the specter of disorderly bankruptcy, the then government backed down, but the price was heavy with a third unnecessary memorandum and shuttered banks,” said the prime minister.
A reference to the 2015 referendum
“The price was heavy. Closed banks, capital controls and finally a new unnecessary Memorandum that led us to a new cycle of austerity”, said the Prime Minister, noting that no European society has suffered more than the Greece over the last decade.
Seven years later, Greece has a new government leading it into a new era, emphasized K. Mitsotakis, referring to the reduction of unemployment, the increase in investments and the liberation of Greece from the regime of enhanced supervision and all this despite the great difficulties still being faced.
Instead of being at the tail end of Europe, today, Greece is recording the third highest growth in the eurozone, which Mr. Mitsotakis attributed to cutting taxes and contributions, without jeopardizing fiscal stability, while also cutting down bureaucracy and digitizing the state. Thus, he said, Greece has regained its place as an equal partner in the European family.
Exit from enhanced supervision
The prime minister underlined that the country will be released from the regime of enhanced supervision starting August, and will be ready to recover the investment grade within 2023.
Mr. Mitsotakis spoke about growth, about reducing unemployment, about paying off the debt two years earlier than planned, about fixing the banking system, all with an eye towards the progress of society.
Referring to Turkey, he said that the decisions of the European Council stand up against Ankara’s provocations, and international law answer its despicable claims, which he called “imperialist fantasies”
He also noted that “Greece keeps the doors closed to threats and the windows open to peaceful contacts. Disputes are resolved by international law and not by bullies.”
The axes of cooperation
The prime minister declared himself optimistic about Europe and its role in the immediate future despite the difficult situation on all levels, describing the coming winter as especially difficult, due to the energy crisis.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, finally, highlighted the axes in which the EU must effectively pursue in the next period:
European defense (including immigration)
Banking consolidation and deposit protection
Joint energy planning
EU enlargement in the Western Balkans
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