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Tsipras’ speech on Referendum (Full text in ENG & Video with ENG subtitles

Below is the full text of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announcing and justifying the Referendum on Creditors’s proposal. The Referendum will be held on Sunday, July 5th 2015.

Today, Saturday, the Greek parliament will vote to adopt the government proposal on Referendum. Debated stated at 12 o’clock noon and is expeted to conclude at 7 pm. The roll call vote will take place at midnight.

A majority of 151 votes is need. Coalition government SYRIZA – Independent Greeks have 167 seats in the Parliament. All opposition parties have said that they will not support the Referendum.

“ Now is the time for the leading European powers to rise to the occasion and take initiative to definitively end the Greek debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries as well, by threatening the very future of European integration.“

Video with English subtitles:

Speech – Full Text:

Greek citizens,

For the last six months, the Greek government has been waging a battle under conditions of unprecedented economic asphyxiation, in order to implement your mandate, that of January 25th.

The mandate to negotiate with our partners to bring about an end austerity, and for prosperity and social justice to return to our country once more.

For a sustainable agreement that will respect democracy, as well as European rules, and which will lead to a definitive exit from the crisis.

During the negotiations, we were repeatedly asked to implement memoranda policies agreed to by the previous governments, despite the fact that the memoranda were unequivocally condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

We never considered giving in—not even for a moment. Of betraying your trust.

Following five months of tough negotiations, our partners submitted a proposal-ultimatum at the Eurogroup meeting, taking aim at Greek democracy and the Greek people.

An ultimatum that contravenes Europe’s founding principles and values. The values of our common European project.

The Greek government was asked to accept a proposal that will add new unbearable weight to the shoulders of the Greek people, and that will undermine the recovery of the Greek economy and society–not only by fueling uncertainty, but also by further exacerbating social inequalities.

The institutions’ proposal includes measures that will further deregulate the labor market, pension cuts, and further reductions in public sector wages–as well as an increase in VAT on food, restaurants and tourism, while eliminating the tax breaks of the Greek islands.

These proposals–which directly violate the European social acquis and the fundamental rights to work, equality and dignity–prove that certain partners and members of the institutions are not interested in reaching a viable and beneficial agreement for all parties, but rather the humiliation of the Greek people.

These proposals mainly illustrate the IMF’s insistence on harsh and punitive austerity measures. Now is the time for the leading European powers to rise to the occasion and take initiative to definitively end the Greek debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries as well, by threatening the very future of European integration.

Greek citizens,

We are facing a historic responsibility to not let the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people be in vain, and to strengthen democracy and our national sovereignty—and this responsibility weighs upon us.

Our responsibility for our country’s future.

This responsibility obliges us to respond to the ultimatum based on the sovereign will of the Greek people.

Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.

My proposal was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow, the Parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting to ratify the Cabinet’s proposal for a referendum to take place next Sunday, on July 5th. The question on the ballot will be whether the institutions’ proposal should be accepted or rejected.

I have already informed the French President, the German Chancellor, and the ECB’s president of my decision, while tomorrow I will ask for a short extension of the program -in writing- from the leaders of the EU and the institutions, so that the Greek people can decide free of pressure and blackmail, as stipulated by our country’s Constitution and Europe’s democratic tradition.

Greek citizens,

I call on you to decide –with sovereignty and dignity as Greek history demands–whether we should accept the extortionate ultimatum that calls for strict and humiliating austerity without end, and without the prospect of ever standing on our own two feet, socially and financially.

We should respond to authoritarianism and harsh austerity with democracy–calmly and decisively.

Greece, the birthplace of democracy, should send a resounding democratic message to the European and global community.

And I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.

I am absolutely confident that your choice will honor our country’s history and will send a message of dignity worldwide.

In these critical times, we all have to remember that Europe is the common home of all of its peoples.

That in Europe there are no owners and guests.

Greece is, and will remain, an integral part of Europe, and Europe an integral part of Greece.

But a Europe without democracy will be a Europe without an identity and without a compass.

I call on all of you to act with national unity and composure, and to make a worthy decision.

For us, for our future generations, for Greek history.

For our country’s sovereignty and dignity.

source: Prime Ministry Greece

 

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12 comments

  1. cyril mcdonnell

    do the greek people actually know or understand what they are voting and what the consequences of either decision

  2. A good decision.I wish the greek people to make the right choice. I wish we in Germany could decide on such issues as well, but all those sheeps are voting for the wrong leaders. Must have been brain-washed by media…

  3. Why do Greek people think a Grexit would free them from their debts?

    Does it work in Greece this way? I leave the city and therefore my debts are gone?

  4. nice, a referendum and the advice to say no to the proposal. But nothing about the consequences when the proposal will be rejected. Do you really think when Greece doesn’t pay IMF or other creditors that the financial markets will support Greece? And when the European bank will stop supporting the Greek banks the financial system of Greece will stand? Keep dreaming with this government, hopefully there will be an opposition and media who tell the consequences. And talk about democracy? Greece is not the only democracy in Europe. All governments have to support the proposal not only Greece. And if they are truly fed up with the whole retarding they will say no to the support for Greece. Time will learn, we all wait for the final decision.

  5. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    If you would travel through Greece a year long and ask everybody you meet you still would have not the simplest idea, it’s just like “all cafés were occupied” only max 1 % of the population would fit in.
    Why “greek people” what?
    But to have a total exit from all currencies would be even smarter as then the mutants have to send their troops in, they’d better bring body-bags also.
    But better ask the Krauts, they owe Greece a lot Reichskassenschein

  6. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Sure, a democracy organised in states is no real democrazy at all, if one would let the world population decide to ban all cars, ships and air-planes from the planet they would decide to ban it as the democratic majority of the world population is suffering from this rich kids toys.
    Also cell-phones would be banned as their production is only possible through massmurdering 6 million Congolese for blood-coltan

  7. I do not understand why Tsipras and Syriza don’t resign. They were elected 1) to end austerity 2) to keep Greece in EU. Now, it is clear that these goals cannot be achieved.

    The results of referendum doesn’t matter. If Greeks approve bailout the austerity measures will continue. If the Greeks disapprove it, Greece will be out of EU and very likely the austerity will be intensified by huge inflation.

  8. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    C’mon, as the people of Greece are too jerky to start a petition online, why don’t you?

  9. I am not certain what your definition of “good” is. Maybe it is a shrewd political decision that allows Tripras to cling to power within SYRIZA and SYRIZA to cling to power within Greece. However, I do not see this decision as good for Greece.

    In a representative democracy politicians campaign to get elected, but after that they need to govern. This is the job they get paid for. Governing includes taking difficult decisions that might be unpopular with politicians’ own constituencies. Instead, Tsipras is abdicating his responsibilities despite the best advice and information he has available to him, which will not be available to each and every Greek voter within the next week. Imagine the total chaos and confusion if all other euro zone governments do the same and call referenda on the agreement with Greece…

  10. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Chaos is now as cars are still allowed and gas the whole planet

  11. MARYANN CATHOPOULIS

    Greeks are much smarter than what you give them credit for. They WILL make a point of learning what they need to know to make an informed decision.

  12. MARYANN CATHOPOULIS

    This is democracy at its best. The Greek people have a moral RIGHT to decide their future. No matter what, Greece will have a rough time. But there is a beauty in the fact that Greeks will get to choose “which” rough rode they wish to go down.