Greece has embarked on a new era, says Digital Min Pappas at Vienna forum

“Greece has embarked on a new era. With our finances in order, a growth momentum and a European ‘umbrella’ for our debt, we have built up trust and obtained a substantial decrease in interest rates, despite the fact that some might wish to undermine our smooth course,” Digital Policy and Media Minister Nikos Pappas said at the “Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue” held in Vienna, while speaking on the topic “Three years of SYRIZA governance”.

Addressing the forum on Monday night, Pappas noted that, while Greece may not turn into the promised land after the financial assistance programme ends in August, it will have greater freedom to decide its own course and to further contribute to the dialogue on Europe’s future.

“It is crucial today to overcome the political, social and institutional deficit in European economies and societies,” noted Pappas. Otherwise, he added, Europe risked repeating “the most horrendous moments of our history, with the reappearence of new nationalisms.”

“Social democracy must prove itself equal to the occasion and once again put social Europe centre stage. The social state, strong unions and political freedoms are among the factors that made social democracy a leading force,” he pointed out. “Of course we are not ‘wagging our finger’ at social democracy,” Pappas added, “but invite it to partipate in a grand and active alliance of the Left, social democracy, the greens and other progressive movements.”

This grand alliance could then battle for key EU issues, such as a European unemployment subsidy, higher EU budgets, a common European finance minister and minister of social affairs and greater powers to the European Parliament, Pappas said.