PM Tsipras: The second program review will close without compromising our values

The ongoing negotiations between Greece and the institutions will conclude without compromising the government’s values, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told representatives of trade bodies, during a speech to inaugurate the 24th Panhellenic Trade Fair “Eastern Macedonia-Thrace” in Komotini.

“This government doesn’t sign blank papers and the second program review will end without compromises in our values,” he said.

Commenting on the review, he said he expects “very positive messages” from the Eurogroup on the ongoing negotiations and a debt write-off.

“We expect the next days to receive very positive messages from the Eurogroup on the country’s negotiations with our partners and the European institutions, messages that concern a debt write-off, which forms part of the difficult agreement achieved last summer, to which we adhere to unswervingly and now expect our partners to respect,” he said.

Tsipras noted that stabilizing the economy and returning to growth is in the near future for the county and pointed to the “more than positive” economic data and optimistic forecasts for the future.

“We find ourselves in the last meters of a very difficult road and our aim is to reconstruct the country productively,” he said, adding that those who have borne the brunt of the crisis must be supported.

Commenting on migration, the prime minister said the EU-Turkey deal must be “faithfully respected”, noting that communication channels between Greece and Turley must remain open. “Our people are fighting a battle for the European values that our European partners have forgotten and our people are demonstrating the road of human values.”

Taking at jab at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent comments concerning the Lausanne Treaty, Tsipras said the country’s borders are not disputed and cannot be redefined.

Turning his attention to the region of Xanthi which he toured on Friday, Tsipras said the government’s presence in Thrace will not be temporary but will receive a permanent character with the creation of a second prime minister’s office in Thessaloniki.

“I would like to assure you that our presence today will not be a passing presence. I come to Northern Greece to launch tomorrow the prime minister’s office in Thessaloniki, which will be the prime minister’s view on northern Greece,” he said.

Tsipras said he was glad his visit to Thrace coincided with the opening of the trade fair, which he said has become an institution for the region in the past two-and-a-half decades and expressed his hope it will serve as a tool for future development by supporting local producers and products.

“The aim of our presence in Thrace today is to be briefed without mediators about the problems of the region and the ways to support it,” he said, adding that after six years of recession, the country and society need growth. “But growth cannot be merely statistic data for economists but actions in the daily lives of the people. What this country needs is jobs,” he noted.