Avramopoulos: ND-SYRIZA coalition can’t be ruled out

Greece’s European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said that he did not rule out a New Democracy-SYRIZA coalition government, during an interview in the Sunday edition of the newspaper “Kathimerini”.

“In a democracy, it is the sovereign people who decide what is doable,” he said. “Politicians and parties are then obliged to find the most appropriate and democratic path to implement this mandate.”

With respect to the need for a national understanding, Avramopoulos stressed that “partisan polarisation is something we have paid for dearly in this country…We must at least realise that this country, a people of 11 million, faced with ruthless global competition, cannot afford the luxury of being divided. The wager of unity is a wager of survival for our nation.”

It was in this spirit that he had received main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras at the defence ministry, acknowledging his position as fourth in the state hierarchy, and ensuring he was briefed on issues of national security that he must know, Avramopoulos added.

On the upcoming presidential election, the Commissioner stressed that Greece needed stability and unity above all. He stressed that perhaps the most significant achievement of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his government was in turning around the country’s international image in such a short space of time, allowing economic stability and the achievement of sustainable growth.

“Greece in 2014 is very different from Greece in 2012…We must never forget that our country in 2012 was one step from total economic collapse while the danger of an exit from the Eurozone was visible. In two years, Greece has managed to become a world champion in reforms and regain the trust of our partners and international markets,” he said.

While Greeks were still suffering and their incomes had been drastically cut, they now had to look ahead and the foundations had been laid for an economy that was competitive, would grow sustainably and would not depend on a vicious cycle of a clientelist economy and excessive borrowing, he added.

Regarding his work in the Commission, he stressed that the aim was not a ‘Fortress Europe’ to fend off illegal migration but to inactivate those investing in it. He also commented on Turkish provocations against Cyprus, stressing that an investment in tension would not benefit Turkey’s European prospects nor the interests of the Atlantic Alliance.