VP Dragasakis: We are not looking for either an escape route or a heroic exit

“We are not looking for either an escape route or a heroic exit,” government Vice-president Yiannis Dragasakis said on Sunday in an interview with the municipal radio station ‘Athina 9.84’. He pointed out that the government had an absolute majority in Parliament, a recent popular mandate, a policy that moved within that mandate and that the government was trying to implement the agreements made with the institutions and the Greek people.

Such a government could not call early elections, he pointed out and noted that it was now “seeking the social and political conditions that will allow us to do what we said.”

He also noted that a very difficult year had ended with some positive signs, such as zero recession and a small rise in employment, “that we can build on” and that the proposed pension and tax reforms will be easier to face if the economy is on a path to growth.

“We do not want to spoil this, we don’t want to be responsible for this scenario being overturned or altered, we will do whatever we can for this scenario to continue,” he said.

In some ways, Dragasakis said, the situation in Greece resembled a country emerging from war and needing major reconstruction, which history had shown could not be undertaken by a single party but required a coalition of social and political forces.

In this context, he said that a change in election law will help everyone because they must reposition themselves based on the future.

“What we have now is SYRIZA with a fresh mandate, a programme that has generally been approved two times, we have an axis and basis on which to talk about broader convergences,” he said.

Commenting on the review of Greece’s programme, he stressed that this was important because the government’s entire plan for the country depended on concluding this successfully and rapidly. Regarding the protests against pension reform and by farmers, Dragasakis said that the country could not move forward by sweeping problems under the rug. “For example, with this pension system we cannot promise our children pensions if we don’t change it,” he pointed out.