Greek Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras: End Europe’s austerity policies

20 January 2014

Greek Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras: End Europe’s austerity policies

During the public debate on ‘Democracy, Economy and Society’ held on Saturday afternoon at the SP’s Amersfoort headquarters Het Moed (literally, ‘Courage’), Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras called for a radical change in Europe’s crisis policies, arguing that they were counterproductive and undermined democracy and support for European cooperation.

Alexis Tsipras
Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras

The Greek opposition leader, whose party SYRIZA will according to current polls emerge from the coming elections as the country’s biggest, called for a different route out of the European crisis. Instead of continuing austerity, the European Union must begin to promote economic growth and jobs. In Tsipras’s view, democracy will be the price paid when it comes to the EU’s austerity policies and May’s European Parliament elections must begin to put an end to them. ‘The European Union will be democratic, or it will not be anything,’ he said.

Winsemius, Klamer en Tsipras
SP Chair Jan Marijnissen, Pieter Winsemius, Jos de Blok and SP Senator Arjan Vliegenthart

The ‘Moed Debate’ was organised in the wake of the discussion which has been conducted within the party over the last eighteen months around the question of how the public can gain more control over their own living and working conditions. As well as Tsipras, speakers included former Minister for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment Pieter Winsemius, Jos de Blok, organiser of Buurtzorg Netherlands, an activist group concerned with providing and improving care facilities within the community for people who through age, sickness or disability are unable fully to care for themselves, and economist Arjo Klamer.

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