12 Απρίλιος, 2016

“The middle class is persecuted, because the government refuses to cut down on state expenditures”

To Potami

Referring to the tax attack now planned by the government, the leader of To Potami pointed out that the alternative solution is cutting down on state expenditures and tackling tax evasion. He stressed that “the government does not proceed with the interconnection of cash registers with taxation services. We pointed out to the government 825 public institutions that can be merged or shut down, automatically saving 353,8 million euros. They ignored us and they now announce a new series of measures. The middle class is persecuted. Enterprises transfer their activities to Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Cyprus”.

“Even those who support Mr Tsipras find it hard to understand his latest outburst against IMF. IMF requests lower primary surplus, meaning less measures and Mrs Lagarde insists on easing off the debt burden. This means that they don’t understand, just like I don’t understand, why Mr Tsipras reacted as if he was facing Mr Schauble, who is against a lower surplus and debt haircut,” stated Stavros Theodorakis in an interview with Kathimerini newspaper and journalist Konstantinos Zoulas, referring to the reaction of Mr Tsipras against the IMF.

Referring to the tax attack now planned by the government, the leader of To Potami pointed out that the alternative solution is cutting down on state expenditures and tackling tax evasion. He stressed that “the government does not proceed with the interconnection of cash registers with taxation services. We pointed out to the government 825 public institutions that can be merged or shut down, automatically saving 353,8 million euros. They ignored us and they now announce a new series of measures. The middle class is persecuted. Enterprises transfer their activities to Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Cyprus”.

He then reiterated the stance of To Potami, concerning the scenario of early elections, saying: “We are against elections. The government must fulfill its commitments towards the creditors. The country need to be financed. If Mr Tsipras is unable to do so, then he must admit it before the Parliament and assume his responsibilities”.

Asked to comment on the “Parliament of Renaissance” and his meeting with the President of PASOK, he said: “To Potami is not a defected part of PASOK, so we are not supposed to be talking about a reunion. A new version of PASOK, “PASOK +” is not something that we care about. Greece needs a major reform alliance, not a union of the Center left. I urged Ms Gennimata to agree on the creation of a committee, in which no political party will have the majority. The momentum of those who will join us will define our next steps. We will not join a federation of political parties with PASOK”.

Read the entire interview.

Mr Theodorakis, you were in Brussels and I want you to share with us what you witnessed there, in the meetings that you had with European officials, after what happened between the government and the IMF.

Even those who support Mr Tsipras find it hard to understand his latest outburst against IMF. IMF requests lower primary surplus, meaning less measures and Mrs Lagarde insists on easing off the debt burden. This means that they don’t understand, just like I don’t understand, why Mr Tsipras reacted as if he was facing Mr Schauble, who is against a lower surplus and debt haircut.

The government is planning to implement new taxation measures, that you have been calling disastrous. Do you think that there is room for another policy, taking into account the memorandum that you co-signed?

We did not vote for new taxation measures, nor for the continuation of excessive spending. On the contrary, we have been urging the government, for months now, to proceed with privatizations and abolish the benefits of trades. If the government had done so, we wouldn’t be talking about additional taxes right now.

I will insist on this point. Can there be a solution without taxes, when you have all agreed on a 3 to 5% surplus?

Of course there can be. There can be a solution, by cutting down on public expenditures and tackling tax evasion. But, the government does not proceed with the interconnection of cash registers with taxation services. We pointed out to the government 825 public institutions that can be merged or shut down, automatically saving 353,8 million euros. They ignored us and they now announce a new series of measures. The middle class is persecuted. Enterprises transfer their activities to Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Cyprus.

Listening to what you are saying, we could conclude a contradiction. Because, on one side, you claim that SYRIZA and ANEL have been destroying the country, but you are against elections.

Whoever demands elections “right here, right now”, they don’t tell the truth to people. Does anyone actually believe that we can have elections before the evaluation? Does anyone actually believe that the country can survive, without the evaluation’s 5,7 billion euros?

So, you still believe that a totally different government can be formed from today’s SYRIZA?

No. We are against the scenario of elections now. The government must fulfill its commitments towards the creditors. The country need to be financed. If Mr Tsipras is unable to do so, then he must admit it before the Parliament and assume his responsibilities”.

One week ago, you had a meeting with Mrs Gennimata, pointing out that you are not willing to cooperate, unless more people join what you call the “Parliament of Renaissance”. What divides you from PASOK?

To Potami is not a defected part of PASOK, so we are not supposed to be talking about a reunion. A new version of PASOK, “PASOK +” is not something that we care about. Greece needs a major reform alliance, not a union of the Center left. I urged Ms Gennimata to agree on the creation of a committee of liberals and left reformists, in which no political party will have the majority. The momentum of those who will join us will define our next steps. And given that rumors have been swirling, I need to make this one clear, once and for all. We will not join a federation of political parties with PASOK.

I will clearly pose the question then. Will To Potami participate in the following elections, even if your effort fails and you don’t get to get to attract new people? Even if polls forecast that you wouldn’t make it to the Parliament?

Half of Greeks refuse to participate in today’s polls. Don’t take polls too seriously. To Potami is ready to participate in the following elections, wherever this will be. Yet, we don’t care about saving our parliamentary. Our actual struggle is saving as much as we can, every day. We reveal, we clash, we propose. Greeks are not waiting for the Resurrection. They want their lives to get even a bit better, day by day.

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