Under immense pressure but his Euro-zone partners, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to reveal the policy program of the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition government.
Greek media have been reporting earlier Sunday, that the Greek coalition does not intend to bow to EZ-pressure to stick to strict austerity and the commitments signed by the previous government.
On the contrary Tsipras is expected to reveal a government program with less austerity and measures to benefit the vulnerable and impoverished groups of the Greek society, that have been suffering form the strict austerity of the last 5 years.
Reuters reported earlier today that
“Tsipras is expected to say that Greece wants no more bailout money, plans to renegotiate its debt deal and wants a “bridge agreement” to tide the country over until a new pact is sealed.
A second part of the speech will touch on his government’s social and fiscal policy over the longer term and is likely to repeat pledges for such things as a rise in the minimum wage and free electricity for poorer Greeks.”
Tsipras first major speech in the Greek Parliament is scheduled to start at 7 pm Sunday.
A debate will follow tomorrow Monday, the vote of confidence will take place, Tuesday, February 10th at midnight.
Parliament TV channel just started live link.
Plenary Session is starting now
Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou reads the statute
PM Alexis Tsipras takes the floor
Please, not I am going to post here the main points (no simultaneous translation!)
Alexis Tsipras speech
Winning back our sovereignty, restoring equal role in Europe, tackling humanitarian crisis are among our key targets.
speaks of “government of national salvation.”
We have to fight for the interests of our people, for the national interest.
I want to assure MPs and citizens that we want to apply the whole of our pre-elections promises.
For me this commitment is a matter of honor and reliability. A matter of democratic duty.
Austerity policies lead the country to political and economic deadlock.
We have commitments only towards the Greek people.
Greece features on world stage, but for the first time in positive light, as country that does not accept orders like that does not accept “orders via e-mails” (reference to Troika sending austerity demands via emails)
The agenda is changing, the negotiations have started with SYRIZA presenting proposals.
In this negotiations there are not only the technocrats but also the people, the Greek people, the European people who will not allow such development.
The previous gov’t intentionally chose to impose very short time frame for negotiations by asking 2-month extension”
The previous gov’t accepted a mixture of policies destined to fail but also left next gov’t with hands tied.
We repeat in all tunes that Greece wants to serve its debt. We tell this to our partners.
If we accept that austerity is catastrophic, we will achieve technical solutions via negotiations
Tsipras has so far made also some reference to figures, I will recover them after his speech is over.
The infamous Memoranum of Understanding was abolished by the people’s verdict.
The Greek people have a clear a strong mandate for the end of the austerity. that’s why the gov’t has no right to ask for “bailout program extension.”
The government has proposals that cannot be be accepted in negotiations.
Greece cannot service huge debt.
“We’re asking for bridge agreement until June. Despite difficulties, this is possible”
As of Wednesday morning our program begins:
top priority: free meals, housing, electricity, medical & medication assess and to vulnerable households impoverished by austerity.
Rehiring unjust laid off workers in public sector like cleaners of FinMinistry, school guards. These will not affect the budget.
short before Tsipras said that yesterday the debt surpassed 180% of GDP
He announces a series of measures to decrease benefits for MPs like vehicles, number of police guards to them, decreasing the number of advisers and consultants, selling one of the 3 airplanes for the PM, decrease by 30% the employees of the PM’s office.
Decrease bureaucracy like one institution will not ask papers and documents from citizens while these papers are already in other institutions (KTG notes wow!)
The govt is ready to give a huge fight against corruption and tax evasion.
He announces measures to combat illegal fuel and tobacco trade.
We put an end to so-called “sea-loans” (given by banks to local elites and businessmen, and that are not paid back).
We proceed with the establishment of investigation committee for the Memorandums of Understanding!
We break the “triangle of power” between banking sector, political world media outlets.
We reestablish the ERT (former state broadcast ). Cost will be covered by the Radio-Television fees.
Voting of Law to provide with Greek nationality children of second generation migrants is imminent.
Taxation: even in times when growth was 4% debt was stuck. that was not because of employees and pensioners but because of
Taxation justice is an unknown word in our country. We will put an end to this illogical.
Eveyr person and business will be taxed according to its taxation ability.
Tax free annual income 12,000 euro.
We abolish ENFIA (Unified Property Tax) as by 2015 and replace it with “Tax of Big Property possession.) How ever I advice people to do pay the running ENFIA installments (of 2014, last installm end Feb 2015)
Immediately abolish the regulation that turns – against the Constitution -, the offense of non-payment of debts to the public to a permanent one.
Control of radio and television stations (that operate without licenses.)
Labour: reestablish of collective bargains.
With advice of International Labor Organization (ILO), we will restore collective wage bargaining
We abolish the age/wages differentiation among employees: no reduced wages for those below 25 yrs old.
Increase of minimum wage to 751 euro gross.
Competitiveness can not be based on cheap labor and work without rights.
Negotiations with EU partners must conclude in agreement because fiscal targets our too tight, feed deflation, recession.
Combat unemployment with boosting maritime, tourism, etc , incentives for investors.
“Selling national assets to pay unsustainable debt is crime. We won’t sell off natural wealth, networks & infrastructure.
we end the privatization of natural wealth.
Every proposal will be examined on whether it operates in the public interest.
We need a program that will not focus just on deficit, as our Italian and French partners agree.
We need to redesign the banking sector.
We will forbid the auctioning of First Home (for debtors).
Investigate responsibilities for the Social Insurance Funds.
We will exploit natural resources to fill the coffers of Social Insurance funds. Established is to be a fund of Natural Resources & Social Insurance.”
We cancel what ex FinMin promised to Troika, that is : cuts in main and supplementary pensions, no raise in retirement age.
We restore the “!3th pension – Christmas bonus” for pensions up to 700 euro monthly.
Aim is territorial integrity, sovereignty in international and bilateral level.
Our foreign policy aims to promote Greece as a field of stability within an unstable region.
“Let me salute the support the Cypriot gov’t is giving us for the negotiations ahead”
Historical responsibility is the claim of the Occupation Loan and Reparation payments (refers to claims from Germany from WWII when Greece was occupied by the Nazis)
We call on even those who won’t vote for us to back us in negotiations, to back Greece.
We are not negotiate our history, the dignity and pride of Greek people.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was deeply touched when he asked for a vote of confidence.
“We will not negotiate our history, the pride and dignity of this folk. We will implement every word of the Constitution of this country, we will serve the Constitution, the sacrifices of the Greek people. ”
“I urge you to give a vote of confidence for this government of social salvation, to give a fight for his country, for future generations, to regain the people’s lost dignity. This fight we will give together.”
He thanked Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos for the establishment of the “social salvation government”.
Tsipras’ speech concluded!
*** Majority of Nea Dimokratia MPs were absent from the Parliament Plenary Hall while the PM was speaking.
seats on the pict-left mostly empty
However, present was veteran politician Konstantinos Mitsotakis, 96, who has served also as PM of ND. “I came to listen to the Prime Minister’s speech,” he told the media.
His presence surprised as he was not present when ex PM Samaras had revealed the ND/PASOK program in summer 2012.
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