We managed to agree on a text on migration, urging mainly the European Union to launch a major initiative, under the pressure of Greece, so that the migration issue can be dealt with in Turkey. The identification and the submission of refugees’ requests must take place in Turkey, while refugees are waiting to reach European cities. Security and solidarity. Security for the people of Europe and solidarity to refugees, who really need it.
I pointed out to Mr Tsipras that he is heading to the wrong direction. The dead-end in the society is getting deeper and deeper every day. Political leaders’ consultations do not actually solve the problems of the society. This kind of problems would be solved by a government with specific targets, a government with people that could have implemented these policies. But it seems that the complex of SYRIZA- ANEL does not have proposals, or the right people.
Of course, we had a talk on the migration issue, as you know, on the social security issue and the constitutional reform. I submitted a proposal, which has been accepted by the all political leaders, except for the representative of New Democracy. We made the decision that this Parliament can change the electoral law, with a proportional system. I explained to them the system that To Potami wants. We are talking about a system with two ballot boxes, which will no longer enable rich and high profile people to have access to the Parliament. This is the proposal that we made.
We talked about the migration issue. I pointed out the major responsibilities that the government bears on what Greece is experiencing at the moment, why migration flows have risen. This is due to the irresponsibility of the Ministers, who used to say that Greece is a country without frontiers, where anyone can just come and leave, continue their itinerary to reach the rest of Europe.
Yet, we managed to agree on a text on migration, urging mainly the European Union to launch a major initiative, under the pressure of Greece, so that the migration issue can be dealt with in Turkey. The identification and the submission of refugees’ requests must take place in Turkey, while refugees are waiting to reach European cities. Security and solidarity. Security for the people of Europe and solidarity to refugees, who really need it.
Finally, as you may know, the Prime Minister’s proposal for the establishment of an experts’ committee on the social insurance system has not been accepted. We said that the social security issue will be treated by the Hellenic Parliament. We are waiting for the government to bring a specific proposal in the Hellenic Parliament. We are ready to share our opinion in the Parliament. We pointed out, the other political leaders and myself, that we want a sustainable system, without further cuts, without extra burden on the world of production.
Asked to comment on potential cooperation scenarios and the possibility of having an ecumenical government, Mr Theodorakis said:
“It is quite clear from where we stand that to Potami is not willing to join a SYRIZA – ANEL government, as a third pole. We have said that an ecumenical government would not be the solution either. We think that this would be a government of the least common denominator, where everyone would be skipping their responsibilities, when major issues would arise. To Potami, ever since it was created, said that the country needs a “national” government. It needs a government of a major parliamentary majority, which will be able to handle the combustive issues of the Greek society. Yet, we haven’t talked about this one today.
Asked to comment on the social security system, Mr Theodorakis said:
“The communique of the Presidency will soon be issued. To Potami pointed out the major responsibility of the political system on the current state of the social security system. We said that To Potami defends a new social insurance system that will mainly serve the world of production and young employees. But, we stressed that this is something to be dealt with by the Parliament. We had no further talk on the social security system. We said that the Parliament will deal with these issues, acknowledging that we want a sustainable social security system, without further burden, without any further cuts.
I told the Prime Minister that he shares major responsibility on the social security system, because he used to lie to Greeks, even in September’s elections. It is known that he was talking about a parallel program, magical solutions on the social insurance that do not exist. We have already pointed out all these things. But, we also said what we believe, meaning that political leaders’ consultations do not take place, so that political parties can take revenge. The government must be brave enough to bring a specific proposal on the social security system. Then we will submit our proposals. The point is not to create committees and sub-committees. This is why we rejected his proposal to create an experts’ committee. Every political party must assume its own responsibilities, within the Parliament, submitting specific proposals. So far, the government has not done so, though it must have. We call the Prime Minister to do it, the following days.
Asked to comment on the possibility of imposing further cuts on pensions, Mr Theodorakis said:
“We have not talked about it. Obviously, the Prime Minister himself was not able to share with us any specific proposal. We talked about it in principle. We had a brief talk about that. We need to resolve this issue. Political parties must submit their specific proposals on the social security system. Under one important condition. The world of production must be able to believe that they have future, that there is a sustainable social security system. We cannot focus the debate on pensioners. We must also consider the world of production and young employees, people that we have disappointed”.
Read the communique issued by the Hellenic Presidency:
I. MIGRATION ISSUE: The migration issue is a common problem, of all member states of the European Union, given that, especially under the current dramatic circumstances, it affects the cohesion and, in general, the perspective of the European Union. This is why the European Union, with its institutions, must deal with this major migration issue, in a comprehensive way, in terms of humanism and solidarity towards refugees, but also in terms of security for the People in Europe. This equals zero tolerance and negligence of terrorists. In this framework, the European Union must:
1. Take the lead role in the effort to end the war in SYRIA, in order to facilitate the faster possible return of refugees to their countries of origin.
2. Impose to all Member States the full implementation of solidarity regulations, as they derive from the European and international law, with specific sanctions against those Member States that refuse to fulfil their obligations, so that the migration issue can be dealt with. All this is anticipated, given that Greece cannot go through the consequences of migration flows, on its own.
3. Promote the cooperation with Turkey, a measure that Greece has already put in action, so that Turkey can assume the responsibility to create a stable and reliable mechanism of transfer of refugees from Turkey to the European Union. Yet, it must point out the, so far, delinquent behavior of Turkish authorities, within the smuggling of refugees. Apart from that, it must be made clear to Turkey that its accession process depends on the full respect of the European institutional and political acquis, including, of course, the respect of Turkey’s obligations, which derive from readmission agreements.
4. Provide the necessary assistance to Greece, especially as far as the financial and the logistical aid is concerned, for the care of refugees, within humanism terms, while acknowledging, at the same time, that Greece’s borders are also the borders of the European Union. These borders are dominantly defined and protected by Greece. Therefore, any cooperation in protecting European borders only means cooperation between Greece and the European Union, excluding common patrols with Turkey, in any form whatsoever. Any such cooperation between Greece and the European Union requires the substantial aid of Greek authorities by Frontex, which must turn into a real European Coastguard.