• Open Letter By 50 French Socialist MPs
  • "France Should Be Firmly Behind Greece"

  • 17 Feb 15
  • United behind Tsipras. 50 socialist MPs, rebellious spirits and traditional government supporters have written an open letter exhorting France to support the Greek prime minister.

    Le Journal du Dimanche exclusively publishes this open letter and the list of the 50 friends of Syriza. Led by Pouria Amirshahi, these socialists urge François Hollande to take the lead and steer Europe in the new direction he promised in 2012. Whilst the eurogroup will decide Greece’s fate on Monday, they want François Hollande to approve the restructuring of Greek debt and this motion to put an end to austerity.

    In the 6th century BC the Greeks invented democracy (from the ancient Greek démokratía, “people-power”). In 2015 they are once more showing how deeply attached they are to this political model by, as a nation, taking back the power that has been denied them for years by the Troika – an entity French socialists have criticised since its inception. 

    Syriza’s plan was made clear during the electoral campaign: a new start for people-power, an end to the humanitarian crisis, social justice and cultural renaissance. The new government is now striving to set it in motion. They should be allowed the opportunity to do so. That would be respecting their vote. And that’s what democracy means.

    “Respect the vote of the Greek people”
    On February 5th, during his fifth press conference, François Hollande commented on the Greek issue: “The role of France is to find a solution, to contribute to an agreement whilst showing respect, respect for the vote of the Greek people but also respect for EU rules and respect for commitments. It is on this basis that I am working with our European partners”. Yet the night before, in a bewildering twist, the ECB introduced tougher conditions for Greek banks with one hand, whilst preparing to buy up vast swathes of corporate bonds, not all of which are of guaranteed quality with the other. This is inadmissible. In fact, a part of the solution is in the monetisation of this debt. Respecting the budgetary objectives of the Stability and Growth Pact is an obligation of EU countries that the new Greek government fully intends to honour. However, austerity measures imposed by the Troika, an unlawful coalition that needs urgent replacement by a democratic alternative, are not. Such measures, by applying ultra-liberal structural reforms as a condition of aid to Greece, have plunged the country into a devastating economic and humanitarian crisis.

    Likewise rigidity and the German approach to Greek debt from the very beginning have contributed to dragging the EU into a crisis that is only getting worse. Aware of the causes that have forced their country into poverty the Greeks rose up against the measures on January 25th. Imposing new measures to further stifle the economy would be to loudly challenge the country’s sovereignty and would not be without consequences for the wide European economy.

    Where there’s a will there’s a way
    Greece is an ally in Europe, and this alliance could show us a new way, a new direction for European policy, which puts people at the heart of the issue, far above the financial interests of a few. An approach that reconciles respecting common rules and the determination to build a better future.

    The realisation, including within the European institutions, that austerity is a dead end makes this period in time an excellent opportunity to reposition European policy. All the progressive forces in Europe must stand hand-in-hand and find common ground in this new direction. Together, they can give all Europeans the opportunity to face the future with confidence.

    It is in the name of this future that France must bring to bear clear political pressure that is as relevant to the Greeks as it is to all the peoples of Europe. This pressure must support the Greek demand that repayment of the debt be made achievable, advocate a real European negotiation instead of decrees issued by the Troika, support a reduction in the primary surplus Greece must provide and ensure essential investment is made to redress the economic and social balance in the country and create jobs.

    In doing so, France will take on a new political responsibility at a turning point in the history of Europe. This turning point involves each and every one of us, as it will allow us to change the direction of European policies. The parliament, and in particular its majority in the Assemblée Nationale, must be fully involved in the positions our country takes during upcoming European summits.

    Sophocles taught us that there are times when the only law that counts is that of justice. That is what the Greeks have chosen and that is what we must support.”

    List of signatories:

    Amirshahi Pouria, député,
    Martin Édouard, député européen
    Assaf Christian – Député
    Bachelay Alexis – Député
    Balas Guillaume – Député européen
    Baumel Laurent – Député
    Baumel Philippe – Député
    Bechtel Marie-Françoise – Députée
    Blazy Jean-Pierre – Député
    Bouziane Kheira – Députée
    Bruneau Isabelle – Députée
    Cabanel Henir – Sénateur
    Carrey-Conte Fanélie  – Députée
    Chabanne Nathalie – Députée
    Chauvel Dominique – Député
    Cherki Pascal – Député
    Doucet Sandrine – Députée
    Dufau Jean-Pierre – Député
    Durain Jérôme – Sénateur
    Dussopt Olivier – Député
    Féron Hervé – Député
    Gaillard Geneviève – Députée
    Galut Yann – Député
    Goldberg Daniel – Député
    Gorce Gaetan – Sénateur
    Gourjade Linda – Députée
    Gueugneau Edith – Députée
    Hamon Benoit – Député
    Hanotin Mathieu – Député
    Juanico Régis – Député
    Kalinowski Laurent – Député
    Khirouni Chaynesse – Députée
    Léonard Christophe – Député
    Leroy Arnaud – Député
    Liem Hoang Ngoc -Député européen
    Lienemann Marie-Noëlle – Sénatrice
    Maurel Emmanuel – Député européen
    Noguès Philippe – Député
    Paul Christian – Député
    Pouzol Michel – Député
    Prat Patrice – Député
    Premat Christophe – Député
    Reynaud Marie-Line – Députée
    Robiliard Denys – Député
    Romagnan Barbara – Députée
    Sebaoun Gérard – Député
    Tallard Isabelle – Députée
    Thomas Isabelle – Députée européenne
    Travert Stéphane – Député
    Vergnier Michel – Député
    Zanetti Paola – Députée


    Source: Le Journal du Dimanche