Swoboda on Greek Presidency: "Teach Europe the lessons you have learned"

The European Parliament today welcomed Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras for the beginning of the Hellenic Presidency.

Speaking in the debate, Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:

"The climate of prejudice and suspicion against Greece is revolting. We are convinced that Greece can deliver a successful, meaningful presidency and teach Europe the lessons it has learned from the crisis: the need for social equality, solidarity and fairness that Greece itself has been denied by the Troika.

"For real European progress we need real European solutions. The community method is the only way forward that will not increase inequalities and injustice. Inter-governmental or bilateral contracts erode the foundations of Europe.

"Greece will have to deliver significant progress on a number of files, notably the banking union and data protection for European citizens. Regarding the banking union, we remain resolute in our demand for a constructive solution. No deal is better than a bad deal; and certainly better than the current inter-governmental agreement.

"The Troika has deeply scarred Greece and its people – this presidency will be an opportunity to look closely at the complete lack of democratic legitimacy in the Troika system. The Troikas have to be phased out and the European Commission must take full responsibility for assistance programmes."