Europe needs to change if it wants to be able to offer a prosperous future to its citizens, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday during a joint press conference at the end of the 4th Mediterranean EU member-states summit in Rome.
The summit and presser included seven member-states of the EU South: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.
“It is necessary to deepen the Eurozone on the basis of more democracy and more social cohesion,” he said.
Tsipras said Europe should not repeat its mistakes and proceed with a bold set of changes. “The issue is not to just exit the crisis but also to prevent the emergence of a new crisis in Europe,” he said, adding that 2018 could be a milestone year that will signal the end of the crisis.
“The crisis ends where it first appears, in the South. And it is ending […] with Greece’s exit from the adjustment programs in the coming August,” he said.
“Today we must talk about Europe and our common future not with the language of the crisis but with the language of common principles and values. We must talk with the language of democracy, solidarity and unity, because if something is missing today in Europe, it is not the rules of fiscal adjustment and their implementation […] It is the common rules on solidarity and convergence, social and economic,” he added.
Commenting on Greece’s relations with Turkey, Tsipras noted the need to make the Aegean “a sea of peace and cooperation, without threats, where international law will be respected by all our neighbours.”