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Friday, January 21, 2022

Prime Minister Tsipras statement on the result of the British referendum

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Today, it is undeniably a difficult day for Europe. The European integration project has suffered a severe blow

The British people’s decision is respectable but confirms a deep political crisis; an identity and strategy crisis for Europe.

This outcome has not been a bolt from the blue. Messages had been sent long before and from many different directions. The explosive rise of the far-right and nationalist force in Central and Northern Europe have boded this negative development.

The extreme policies of austerity have widen the inequalities both among countries of the European South and Noth as well as within the European countries.

À la carte management of the refugee crisis, closed borders, fences and unilateral actions.

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The rejection of sharing responsibility and burden as regards both the debt crisis and the refugee crisis had given a signal of an extensive crisis of the European project.

At this moment, we all have to reflect and first and most important to wonder:

What is the root cause of the European crisis?

Who is responsible for the dissemination of nationalism and the rise of the far-right which spearhead the isolationists?

The democratic deficit, the enforcement of unpopular and unfair policies through blackmailing, the dividing stereotypes separating Europe between the industrious and prudent North and the allegedly lazy and ungrateful South.

The result thereof has been a deep political and social division.

The nations of the European North believing they should pay for the failures of the South, while the nations of the South justly believe that the North does not stand in solidarity but rather punishes. And the chasm keeps widening.

Thus, the sense of a common prospect and acommon future of the European nations is being replaced by the return to the alleged safety of national retrenchment; by national isolationism. However, this way is not a way out.

The British referendum shall be either an alarm awakening the sleepwalker heading towards the cliff or the beginning of a very dangerous and slippery course for our peoples.

 

And it is precisely for this reason that we need an immediate change of course, democratic and progressive breakthroughs in Europe. Changes in perceptions, mentalities and ultimately changes in policies.

We need to raise a barricade against euroscepticism and the far-right. To reestablish Europe based on the principles of democracy, freedom, equality and solidarity.

We need, more than ever, a major counterattack of the European progressive forces in order to stop the onslaught of the extreme right and nationalism that find fertile ground in the conditions created by austerity and the unaccountability of the market.

We need a large progressive alliance for Europe to rediscover its lost momentum and its founding values that made the Union unique in the world: The protection of labour, the support of the welfare state, European solidarity, the protection of individual and social rights.

Because it has been proved these days that the haughty and arrogant technocrats’ speech not only do not move the European peoples, but rather anger them.

It is precisely for this reason we urgently need a new vision and a new start for a united Europe. A new vision neither for less Europe, nor for a more authoritarian and a more centralized Europe.

But a new vision for a better Europe. For a social and democratic Europe. For a Europe where policies will regain the primacy over business and the technocrats.

For a Europe where people will have the last and paramount word. And this Europe is worth to fight for. Because it is worth to fight for our common future

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