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Juncker threatens Greeks: “Greece’s next gov’t must respect bailout, or EU reaction will be different”

Less than two weeks before the elections, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker openly threatened Greek voters saying that “Greece’s new government after the September 20 election must respect the bailout agreement struck with the eurozone, or the EU’s resolve to keep Greece in the single currency bloc could change.”

It is not the first time Juncker or some other EU official blatantly intervene in Greece’s domestic politics before the elections. And while in Greece, there political pre-elections debate is rather free from the usual scaremongering of the last five years, the esteemed European union apparently decided to stir the things a bit.

Jean Claude Juncker made his intervention on Wednesday morning during g a speech in the European Parliament. In Juncker’s speech chapter about Greece, the EC President recalled among others the long way of negotiations :

“I said I want to talk about the big issues today. This is why this State of the Union speech needs to address the situation in Greece, as well as the broader lessons from the fifth year of Greek crisis the impact of which continues to be felt in the Eurozone and in the European economy and society as a whole.

Since the start of the year, the talks on Greece have tested all our patience. A lot of time and a lot of trust was lost. Bridges were burnt. Words were said that cannot easily be taken back.

We saw political posturing, bickering and insults carelessly bandied about.

Too often, we saw people thinking they can impose their views without a wayward thought for another’s point of view.

We saw democracies in the Eurozone being played against each other. The recovery and creation of jobs witnessed last year in Greece vanished during these months.

Collectively, we looked into the abyss.

And it was once more only when we were at the brink that we were able to see the bigger picture and to live up to our responsibilities.” (full speech here)

He stressed  that “If we hadn’t said that loudly and clearly [that Grexit was not an option], Grexit could have happened.”And added:

Jean-Claude Juncker via Reuters

“We have agreed on a programme and I would like this programme to be respected by all future Greek governments. This time we all need to realise that we are serious and for real and we require respect of the arrangements and agreements that have been reached.

“If this time rules agreed will not be respected, the reaction of the European Union and the eurozone will be different.”

JC also revealed an interesting detail during the negotiations in July:

“I had the leaders of all the mainstream Greek political groups in my office before the final agreement was concluded. They all promised to support this agreement, and they gave first proof of their commitment when they voted for the new programme and for the first three waves of reforms in the Hellenic Parliament.”

As Juncker was speaking to MEPs and not to non-mainstream journalists, nobody asked the EC president the obvious question:

“According to which criteria do you decide which political party is mainstream or not. The rates in elections or the EU loyalty?”

While Junker was delivering his speech, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) wearing a mask with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s face interrupted Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech.

Italian MEP Gianluca Buonanno rose from his seat, a printed Merkel mask covering his face, approached Juncker and shook his hand.

video:

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Buonanno from the far-right Liga North was most apparently not criticizing Juncker of his political intervention to Greek elections, but to Refugees quotas and distribution among the EU members.

During the speech, Juncker called on EU countries to agree by next week to share 160,000 refugees, warning that Greece, Italy and Hungary can no longer cope alone.

“The refugee crisis will not simply go away,” Juncker told EU lawmakers, noting that some 500,000 migrants have entered Europe this year, many from conflict-torn Syria and Libya. “It is high time to act.”

Juncker unveiled a new plan for 22 of the EU’s 28 states to share 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and Hungary, on top of a proposal the EU’s executive made in May to share 40,000 refugees from just Greece and Italy. Britain, Ireland and Denmark are not legally bound to take part. Greece, Italy and Hungary of course are not included.

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6 comments

  1. Juncker has no right to interfere in Greek affairs but he and others cannot help it because they see Greece as their fiefdom and they mostly do and say what they like because they can.

    The Troika have no preference who wins the next elections providing the parties with the most votes obey orders and carry on with the dismantling of Greek freedoms and state silver – that is EU democracy and firmly in the ideology and script of its masters.

    What the EU is looking for in the next election results is voter legitimacy. Voters must vote in a political party or coalition in sufficient numbers to satisfy parliamentary legitimacy. The answer of course is simple – do not vote for any of the parties which previously supported the wholescale dismantling of Greece. The usual shower including Tspiras should be totally ignored. That is up to the Greeks however and its their choice but they should at least ask pertinent questions of their party before casting their votes. Geez, how much more can the average Greek voter take?
    Ellis

    • Absolutely true!!:

      “What the EU is looking for in the next election results is voter legitimacy. Voters must vote in a political party or coalition in sufficient numbers to satisfy parliamentary legitimacy.

      The answer of course is simple – do not vote for any of the parties which previously supported the wholescale dismantling of Greece. The usual shower including Tspiras should be totally ignored. “

  2. Exactly!! The feeling amongst the Greeks here on Rhodes is that they are not going to vote for anyone because they have all lied to them and now they don’t trust or believe anyone. I think it will be a very interesting vote. Austerity has not worked and now a new plan is needed instead of agreeing to another 40 years of slavery to the euro zone.

  3. the people have the power the people have the power the system only works when they exercise that power
    as far as i can see this has not been done self interest leads to this awful situation please GROW UP

  4. There is a solution even better then not voting. Be a candidate yourself, or bring someone you trust to try and get in(not sure how it is in greece, but i foundnd here that the more local you get the better the politicians, so if you have major or city council member you trust get them to run) of course this wont help immediatly, but in the long run replacing that whole generation of politicians seems to be the only way.

  5. JEAN-CLAUDE JUNKER is in a lot of trouble at home – Big, big trouble.