We have been fighting hard for six months now, and we fought until the end to achieve the best possible outcome, an agreement that will enable the country to get back on its feet, and for the Greek people to be able to continue to fight.
We faced tough decisions, tough dilemmas. We assumed responsibility for the decision in order to prevent the most extreme objectives from being implemented – those pushed for by the most extreme conservative forces in the European Union.
The agreement calls for tough measures. However, we prevented the transfer of public property abroad, we prevented the financial asphyxiation and the collapse of the financial system – this was planned to the last detail – having recently been designed to perfection, and in the process of being implemented.
Finally, in this tough battle, we managed to gain the restructuring of the debt and a financing process for the medium-term.
We were aware that it would not be an easy task, but we have created a very important legacy. An important legacy, and a much-needed change throughout Europe. Greece will continue to fight, and we will continue to fight, so that we can return to growth, regain our lost national sovereignty. We earned our popular sovereignty. We sent a message of democracy, a message of dignity throughout Europe and the world. This is the most important legacy.
Finally, I would like to thank all of my colleagues–ministers, colleagues and associates who gave, along with me, a very tough fight. A fight, which at the end of the day, will be vindicated.
Today’s decision will maintain Greece’s financial stability and provide recovery potential. However, as we knew beforehand, the agreement will be difficult to implement. The measures include those that Parliament has voted on. Measures that will inevitably create recessionary trends. However, I am hopeful that the growth package of 35 billion euro that we achieved, debt restructuring, as well as securing funding for the next three years will create market confidence, so that investors realize that fears of a Grexit are a thing of the past – thereby fueling investment, which will offset any recessionary trends.
I believe that a large majority of the Greek people will support the effort to return to growth; they acknowledge that we fought for a just cause, we fought until the end, we have been negotiating through the night, and no matter what the burdens will be, they will be allocated – we guarantee this – with social justice. And it will not be the case that those who have shouldered the burden during the last years will be stuck footing the bill once more. This time, those who avoided paying – many of whom were protected by the previous governments–will pay now, they, too, will shoulder the burden.
Finally, I want to make this commitment: Now, we need to fight just as hard as we fought to achieve the best outcome abroad-in Europe, to rid vested interests in the country. Greece needs radical reforms in favor of social forces, and against the oligarchy that have led to the country’s current state. And this commitment to this new effort begins tomorrow.
13 July 2013
12 July 2015