Tsipras: “Let Us Not Allow Conservative Forces to Take Us Back to Austerity”

BRUSSELS — "Let us not allow conservative forces to take us back to a Europe of austerity," main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said in a doorstep statement on his arrival at the preparatory meeting of the Party of European Socialists (PES) on Thursday in Brussels.

"The main discussion today in Europe is whether the pandemic is a shock that will force us to change the economic model or only a respite which, once it's over, will see a return of the same bankrupt austerity policies that led us into multiple crises," Tsipras said, adding that the "European Right openly supports the second view".

"Europe's progressive forces should launch the debate on Europe's future dynamically and with determination, fighting for a Europe with more social cohesion and less inequality," Tsipras underlined.

"We must do the same in terms of Euro-Turkish relations. Today there will be a decision for the start of a revision of the EU customs union with Turkey," Tsipras pointed out, suggesting that this "is a unique opportunity to force Turkey to link the Customs Union update that it wants with having recourse to The Hague, along with Greece, for the resolution and delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone".

Earlier, according to party sources, Tsipras had a meeting with the European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and discussed the importance of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and ways in which Greece can make the most of it, the Green Deal on the basis of a fair transition, digital transformation and the need for a revision of the Stability Pact.


SOFIA, Bulgaria — The governments of Bulgaria and North Macedonia held a joint session Tuesday to improve relations, which have been locked in a historic row and further strained after Bulgaria blocked its Balkan neighbor's bid to join the European Union.

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