U.S President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece was a strong message of support for our country, the government and our efforts to get the country out of the crisis, stated Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his address to SYRIZA parliamentary group on Wednesday.
He noted that Obama’s visit also sent a strong message on the need to support Democracy and individual rights in a period when the rise of the extreme right is threatened.
Tsipras underlined that the same visit sent a message that Greece is not a country to be avoided, as it was in the disastrous period 2010-2015.
The second review of the Greek programme will be concluded, the prime minister added, and there will soon be positive signs concerning the country’s debt that will end the “left interlude” speculation.
In spite of the fiscal restrictions that were known before the elections in September 2015, the 2017 draft budget forecast 2.7 pct of GDP growth and that the primary surplus target will be surpassed, Tsipras pointed out.
“With the budget we are increasing spending on health, education and social protection,” the prime minister said, urging MPs to “get out of their offices” and listen to ordinary people’s problems, as well as promoting the government’s work.
While admitting that there was some disappointment in the government, because people had hoped for faster economic growth, Tsipras also pointed out that “everyone here, as well as society, knows that to abandon the effort mid-stream and turn back is a recipe for failure.”
“Our goal is that SYRIZA will not be yet another crisis government but the government that gets the country out of the crisis,” he said.
Regarding the Cyprus talks and his discussion with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Tsipras said they had agreed the effort for a Cyprus solution must continue and the next steps laid out “so that we have positive developments on this front also.”
He also commented on issues relating to respect for international treaties, such as the Treaty of Lausanne, noting that the Greek government showed “particular sensitivity” on such issues.
“The Greek government will not accept this unacceptable historical revisionism. Turkey must understand that the Treaty of Lausanne is not questioned by anyone in the international community,” Tsipras said.
We will not question the binding legal documents that constitute the pillars of our relations nor will we allow anybody to question them,” he said.