Today the European Green Party, as the representatives of the European Green Family, express their strong and unwavering support for the people of Greece at this time of national crisis. This week Green MEPs Daniel Cohn-Bendit (co-President in the European Parliament) and Eva Joly (French Presidential candidate for Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) have visited Athens and met with the Greek Greens of 'Ecologists Greens' to discuss the debt crisis, the situation facing Greece and how European Greens can stand with our fellow European citizens in the face of the austerity agenda of the Troika.
Greece is facing the imposition of further austerity cuts in return for a further €130bn bailout package so it can meet its debt repayment obligations on 20th March. In return, the troika of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are insisting on cuts across Greece's expenditure, hitting people already severely suffering from cuts in their standard of living, high unemployment and little hope for the future of their country.
EGP co-chair Philippe Lamberts:
Greece cannot be made to pay more than it can afford, and we cannot sacrifice a fellow EU member state on the alter of neo-liberalism. We risk continuing the spiral of cuts and decline that have not helped to move Greece or other suffering countries out of recession. What is needed is definitive demonstrations of European solidarity and a Marshall plan to reduce the debt burden and restart the Greek economy.
Unemployment in Greece now stands at almost 21%, with youth unemployment at twice that figure. There has been a 25% increase in homelessness over the past three years. Almost 28% of Greeks are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Greece cannot take much more pain, and cutting expenditure cannot be the only answer to her economic problems. The Greens have been pushing for a greater level of economic solidarity since the beginning of the crisis and this was reflected in the EGP's Paris Declaration in November1. In it, we advocate a system of Eurobonds, public-private bank recapitalisation, making the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) more robust and lowering the Greek debt burden to a realistic level.
EGP co-chair Monica Frassoni:
Greens across Europe must stand together against the erosion of hope, in Greece and elsewhere. We have to point out that another way is possible. We believe that an urgent positive signal of concrete solidarity should be given by putting at the disposal of the Greek people EU funds to be redirected to support welfare and Green job creation.
With kind regards,
Secretary General EGP
mob: +32 485 487 609
The speech of Daniel Cohn-Bendit regarding Greece made this week in Strasbourg: http://youtu.be/r3EFa22QmUs
Statement from Greek Green MEP Nikos Chrissogelos: http://bit.ly/wmOpho
Greens/EFA in the European Parliament statement on Greece: http://www.greens-efa.eu/greek-bail-out-deal-5284.html
For more information:
European Green Party - Media Team
Luisa Colasimone, firstname.lastname@example.org +32 496 300 872
Ed Davitt, email@example.com +32 486 386 752