Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in an interview with the Sunday edition of Avghi newspaper characterised “the Prespes Agreement a historic step for both countries (Greece and FYROM) and insisted that its ratification is a ‘patriotic duty’.
He accused main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis of doublespeak and of playing a dangerous game with the extreme right and the policy of hatred in order to have a temporary benefit in the elections.
Tsipras estimated that the Prespes Agreement will operate as a catalyst for the rallying of Greece’s progressive political forces. “The memoranda adventure has brought re-arrangements in the political system, so, today in a part of the centre, exists a crisis of political representation. The burden of the organisation of a progressive pole falls on the largest force (SYRIZA) but we want to move towards this direction without hegemonism. We seek the dialogue with all the progressive forces on some stable axes: the confrontation with the extreme right, the fair growth, the strengthening of the employment and of the workers’ income, the building of a new social state, the necessary rifts for the deepening and improvement of the quality of the democracy and of the institutions. These are the bases of a plan that can bring together the large progressive majority of the society”.
On the rally organised in Athens against the Prespes Agreement on Sunday, Tsipras said that in a democratic society, the citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully, this non- negotiable. He underlined however that he totally disagrees with views that claim that anyone that is against Prespes Agreement is a fascist. I believe, he said, that it is everyone’s duty to isolate the extreme groups that will attempt to manipulate this rally and to stay away from expressions and slogans of hatred. We had enough of civil hatred in the history of this country. The confrontations should be held with arguments and dialogue
On his relationship with Panos Kammenos (Independent Greeks leader and former Defence Ministry) Tsipras said “We gave together very difficult battles. It was an honest partnership. My feelings will be always friendly despite the political confrontation and I believe we will continue to give battles together. However, I believe, and I told him also, that he has made the wrong choice”.
The prime minister, ahead of the elections for the European parliament, he underlined the need for the creation of a progressive pole.
On the national elections, Tsipras said “I believe that the national elections in October will have a crystal clear message on which the society will be called to respond”.
“It is the moment that the Left rebuilds that social alliances according to a plan for the future and the country’s restructuring. Everyone has a place in such alliance even those that were temporarily disappointed and took distances. The old authority system that is responsible for the country’s bankruptcy with the most cruel neoliberal political choices seeks to get revenge and return. Against this prospect a political intervention in the real field, in the social and democratic struggles is necessary, because that’s where the real battle for this country’s future is” Tsipras said.