Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday in his address in the first meeting of his cabinet sent a double message, one to the lenders – that the new government does not want things to be taken to a “mutually destructive rupture” but at the same time it will not concede to submission – and a second one to a domestic audience that it will decisively deal with the establishment of the past decades and corruption.
Tsipras referred to the priorities of the government which is dealing with the humanitarian crisis, the restitution of the country’s prestige and the Greek people’s dignity, the restitution of the social justice and the reforms to deal with the patronage state.
The social salvation government has a difficult task, Tsipras said and noted: “We must not forget that the people have high expectations of this government.” He added that the Greek people does not expect the government to change everything in the economy in just one day but expects radical changes in justice, transparency, egalitarianism and demands we be a government with a different type of governance. This government, the premier said, has no dependence other than the citizens themselves.
He also made clear that the new government intends to put an end to the way policy is implemented in the country, to the regime of favours and the patronage state.
“Keep in mind,” the prime minister told the cabinet members “that the power given to us belongs to those who entrusted us, namely the Greek people” and stressed the need for zero tolerance to phenomena of arrogance, squandering and corruption and “not forget that the people suffer. The people require we bleed, ” Tsipras said “to defend their dignity.”
Referring to the changes that took place and led to the new structure of the government cabinet, Tsipras said that changes that were unseen in the last 40 years were implemented in just two days, that the cabinet is smaller compared to the past and this proved that commitments will be met.
He reiterated there are no winners and losers, that there will be broader consensus and that he will work for the consolidation of a civilized political climate.
He asked that the government’s work be immediately launched and that priority be given to dealing with the humanitarian crisis and unemployment as well as to the support of the weaker strata.
The prime minister underlined there is a four-year reform plan; he noted he would work for balanced budgets without deficits and at the same time without exhausting surpluses.
Tsipras emphasized on fighting corruption and stressed his government would conflict with the establishment of the past decades and noted the need for institutional shielding aimed at dealing with vested interests and the broadening of the democratic institutions.
The second message
The prime minister noted that the result of the elections had a strong international impact and estimated that the international climate has been changing, the country has been regaining its international status and its self confidence and has been building its alliances.
Tsipras said he was ready to discuss with all parties and added he welcomed Martin Schulz who is visiting Athens on Thursday and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem who is coming on Friday.
We will move to the new era with stability and confidence and we will do what is needed through dialogue, with social consensus, but without compromises. There is no room for mistakes and delays. The responsibility is heavy and we have no right to disappoint the people’s mandate, the prime minister concluded.