PM Tsipras: 'We Achieved An Important Success in Europe'
Monday, 23 February 2015
Greece achieved an important success in its negotiations in Europe, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised public address on Saturday, commenting of Greece’s deal with its European partners at the Eurogroup.
“But we won a battle but not the war,” Tsipras noted, adding that the government cancelled any plans to cause asphyxiation to Greece on February 28.
“Yesterday we made an important step, leaving behind austerity, the memoranda and the troika,” he added.
The full text of the premier’s address is as follows:
"Greece achieved yesterday an important success in its negotiations in Europe. In a tough and difficult real negotiation, possibly the first real negotiation, we set targets, we were organized, we showed determination but also flexibility and we eventually achieved our main goal.
I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the vast majority of Greek men and women who stood by the side of the Greek government. This was the most decisive contribution, our strongest bargaining tool. With this decisive support, we won a battle yesterday, but not the war.
The difficulties, the real difficulties, not just those that concern the negotiation and the relation with our partners, are ahead of us.
About twenty days ago, we took over a country which was at the brink, with empty state coffers and a lack of liquidity. It was also a country deliberately trapped in a tight timetable, because some people were planning the scenario of an anti-memorandum interval, indifferent to the impact these calculations would have on an already troubled economy and on a country looted by the memoranda.
Yesterday, we cancelled their plans. We prevented the plan of the blind, conservative forces, within the country and abroad, to asphyxiate the country on February 28. We kept Greece dignified and on its feet.
And we proved that Europe is a field for negotiations and mutual viable compromises and not a field for annihilation, submission and blind punishment. In that sense, yesterday might be the more important for Europe than it is for Greece itself.
Eurogroup’s joint statement yesterday constitutes in principle an agreement-framework which bridges the time between the memorandum and our plan for growth.
It’s an agreement that cancels in practice the commitments of the previous government for wage and pension cuts, for layoffs in the public sector, for VAT hikes in food, medicine and tourism. It cancels austerity in practice and the mechanism that impose it, such as the unrealistic primary surpluses that cause recession.
It creates the institutional framework for the implementation of the necessary, progressive reforms that involve cracking down on corruption and tax evasion, reforming the state, but also halting the humanitarian crisis which is a primary duty.