"Right now, we are fighting the battle of all battles for Greece to remain in the European Union. I think that those who cultivate scenarios for rupture with the EU and return to the drachma are foolish and provide a very bad service to the Government and the country", stated Stavros Theodorakis, the leader of Potami. He also said "Potami is fighting for a national consensus" and reiterated that "For the Greek people, to leave the European Union is an act of betrayal".
This is the entire statement by Stavros Theodorakis:
The Greek people want a solution. The Greek people want the euro. The Greek people want Europe. Potami is fighting for a national consensus. We hope that the Prime Minister will persevere in the national effort, which is for the country to remain in the European Union. But, talking about it is not enough. It is up to the Prime Minister to make it happen. We hope that the proposal that will be submitted by the Greek side will help and will not leave room for anyone on the other side to say NO on Sunday. Because, as you must have heard, and it is very sad, there are people in Europe that are already celebrating a Grexit. These are the known conservative circles, who rejoice in the scenario that Greece is about to leave the common European home. We will try in every possible way, and I hope the meeting that will take place, even today if necessary, will help eliminate any doubts regarding the position of the Greek government in these critical hours and days.
Journalist: What did you discuss with the Prime Minister?
Stavros Theodorakis: I talked to the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic. We are in constant touch. What truly matters is that Mr. Tsipras proves that he is committed soul and body to this national effort. There is only one title to this national effort: “Greece must remain in the European Union, a strong country, and with the euro.
Journalist: You also talked about betrayal.
I said something that Greeks are saying, no matter if they voted YES or NO in the referendum. For the Greek people, leaving the European Union is an act of betrayal. We must stay in the Eurozone and fight from within the European Union. Everything is not ideal in Europe and nothing will be given to us for free. We must not return to austerity programs. But it is one thing to fight for a better deal that will bring growth and justice from within the European Union and another to desert at this late moment and to risk getting out of the European Union and become an insignificant country in the Balkans. For all of us, that would be something that we would not accept and certainly would be a betrayal.
Journalist: Will there be another meeting of the leaders of the parties?
Stavros Theodorakis: It is up to the Prime Minister. What we want is the stabilization of the country. We disagree with what some people suggested today, like holding another referendum, holding new elections, submitting a no-confidence motion against the government in Parliament. What counts is that the Greek government must prepare to submit its proposal to the Institutions. We do not like procrastination. Potami assumes its responsibilities. We are here to share the cost and the responsibilities of such a deal, as long as the Prime Minister and his government say YES to the country remaining in the Eurozone, YES to the country remaining in the great European family.
Journalist: Are you optimistic that a solution will be eventually found?
Stavros Theodorakis: We must be optimistic and we must tell the Greek people – all of us together - that, right now, we are fighting the battle of all battles for Greece to remain in Europe, for Greece to remain in the European Union. I think that those who cultivate scenarios for rupture with the EU and return to the drachma are foolish and provide a very bad service to the Government and the country. The Greek people will be very severe with them the day after. The battle must be for remaining in the euro and the European Union. There will be a right time to discuss the details of a plan for growth.
9 July 2015
Photo credit: Theodore Manolopoulos