Article by PM Tsipras counterpoints Europe of 'multiple speeds' to Europe of 'multiple options'

(Ξένη Δημοσίευση) Ο πρωθυπουργός Αλέξης Τσίπρας προσέρχεται Σύνοδο Κορυφής της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, Βρυξέλλες, Παρασκευή 10 Μαρτίου 2017. ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ/Andrea Bonetti
Last update: 13:38

 

Europe needs to begin a dialogue and make bold decisions in order to protect its cohesion and avoid degenerating into little more than a free-trade zone, Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday, in an article published by the Greek newspaper "Efimerida ton Syntakton" under the title "Europe of 'multiple speeds' or 'multiple options?"
"A policy of austerity and severe fiscal restriction increased distances and speeds between European economies and has further exacerbated the social cohesion problem. On the other hand, the refugee crisis came to strengthen xenophobic and eurosceptic trends in the conservative social strata, to strengthen far-right populism politically and, of course, tested the unity, cohesion and prestige of the Union in the implementation of common commitments and decisions," Tsipras said.
This economic and geopolitical uncertainty was then made further amplified by the repercussions of Brexit and the 'uncharted waters' entered on the other side of the Atlantic, he added. In light of these facts, Europe must begin a discussion and make decisions that were realistic and that could be implemented.
"It is clear that the member-states' declaration for 'ever closer Europe' has lost its momentum and its content. On the contrary, what appears to be dominating is a trend for more and more 'elective' Europe, or Europe 'a la carte'," the prime minister said, citing the closed borders in response to the refugee crisis as an example.
Tsipras likened the EU to a team of mountain climbers connected by a rope: "They move at a single speed. If they abolish this...each individual member must keep up with strongest group or walk alone, in any direction he or she thinks best. This is not freedom, it is a divestment of responsibility," he said.
On the other hand, "if we ensure that we are all on a ship going at the same speed, just because some people want to stay in their cabins, we cannot then lock the doors for those that wish to go out on deck."
In conclusion, Tsipras said, Europe needed to redefine the current situation and talk about not a Europe of "multiple speeds" but one of "multiple options". If Europe wants to allow those that want to do more to go ahead and strive for different degrees of integration, this must be made possible under specific conditions that ensure that the EU remains open, democratic and cohesive, he said.
In practical terms, Tsipras continued, this meant that any discussion must take place in the framework of existing treaties and that further integration should take the current level of enhanced cooperation as given, abandoning suggestions for the fragmentation of existing structures such as the Eurozone or Schengen zone. He also stressed the need to give up all ideas of a "closed club" including only the strong or core countries within the Eurozone.
"All levels of closer cooperation must be open and freely accessible to all member-states," Tsipras noted.
Lastly, he emphasised the need to prevent a weakening of European policies for cohesion and convergence.
Ending the article, written ahead of the March 25 Summit in Rome marking the 60th anniversary since the foundation of the EU, Tsipras urged "progressive Europe" and the forces of the Left to seek a new leadership role and work together to create a progressive alternative agenda for Europe.
"Such an agenda is the only effective answer to the forces of far-right populism, isolationism, and xenophobia and thus the only way to keep Europe united," he said.


Μore on subscriber's page
© ANA-MPA SA. Intellectual rights and copyright are the sole property of the ANA-MPA and are allocated to the Agency's subscribers for specific uses only.
NEWS
  • 22:03   Head of Chambers Union urges Greek-American businesspeople to invest in Greece
  • 21:46   Tsipras to attend opening of 'Nikos Beloyannis' museum on Monday
  • 21:21   Culture minister visits burned Beyazit mosque; says restoration will start soon
  • 20:53   NOA to launch international experiment in Crete to reveal secrets of desert dust
  • 20:06   Weather Forecast: Scattered rain on Monday
  • 19:26   Ernst & Young: Married doctor with many kids living in rural area is profile of likely tax evader in Greece
  • 18:18   ND accusation that gov’t growth plan will burden public finances is unfounded-ministry sources
  • 17:41   Opening of Tembi Valley road works postponed for April 3 so that Tsipras can attend
  • 17:13   Katrougalos on Rome Declaration: It could develop a dynamic in favour of social Europe
  • 16:24   One person injured in sailboat collision with freighter off Patras
  • 15:56   Cyber-crime unit form file against 17-year-old for distributing child pornography
  • 15:35   Mouzalas to ‘Spiegel’: We cannot host a single additional refugee
  • 20:09   Greece has always won when it has been united, Dep FM Quick tells Vancouver Greeks
  • 19:56   Government sources note impact of PM's initiatives for 'social' Europe
  • 19:34   Kotzias: The struggle for a viable Cyprus solution requires unity
  • 19:20   President Pavlopoulos: Greece and Greeks consistenty oriented toward European vision
  • 19:04   Failing to continue Greek programme would be 'irresponsible,' Gabriel says
  • 18:23   Our generation must bring about a new start for Greece, ND leader Mitsotakis says
  • 18:12   Weather forecast: Sunny on Sunday, with cloud later in the day
  • 18:05   Athens Newspaper Headlines
  • 17:57   Tsipras: We must fight to change Europe from within (ADDS)
  • 17:31   Military parade held in Athens to mark March 25 anniversary of 1821 independence war
  • 16:52   Social protection and labour best practices to be upheld 'across all Europe,' Tusk says
  • 16:16   Greek PM's initiative on labour relations found support in EU, European sources say
  • 15:45   'We must all protect Cyprus,' Kotzias says, attending Nicosia's parade for March 25
  • 15:22   Tsipras: We must fight to change Europe from within
  • 14:55   Clocks forward one hour for return to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday
  • 21:44   Defence minister Kammenos meets U.S. counterpart James Mattis
  • 21:42   Pope Francis thanks PM Tsipras for his work to support the 'poor and weak'
  • 19:57   Athens pushing to reinsert 'social acquis' in Europe's agenda in Rome
  • 19:27   Greek stocks end lower
  • 19:12   Weather forecast: Bright and sunny on Saturday
  • 19:06   Athens Newspaper Headlines
  • 18:51   Greece outside Europe 'inconceivable' says President, for March 25 anniversary
  • 18:31   FM Kotzias to visit Nicosia on March 25-28
  • 18:26   Undeclared labour now becoming 'partly declared' labour, Labour Inspection Corps chief tells ANA
  • 18:13   Gentiloni: EU's social acquis must be protected, without exceptions
  • 17:49   ESM spokesperson notes 'some progress' in talks to conclude 2nd review
  • 17:42   Last pending issues in review to be concluded in 'next few days', finance ministry sources tell ANA
  • 17:34   PM Alexis Tsipras to meet Georgian counterpart next Tuesday
  • 17:31   School parade held in central Athens for March 25 anniversary
  • 17:13   Greece needs a 'national reboot', ND's Mitsotakis says in March 25 anniversary message
  • 16:47   Corruption Prosecutor Eleni Raikou resigns; claims she was targeted over Novartis probe
  • 15:56   Greece seeking clear answers on labour relations, collective bargaining, Tsipras says
  • 23:03   Tsipras: Europe has surrendered to the IMF; this explain its existential crisis (ADDS)
  • 22:30   Tsipras: Europe has surrendered to the IMF and this explain its existential crisis
  • 21:56   IMF’s Strauch: Reforms in Greece have borne fruit, Greece is returning to growth
  • 20:49   Ministry denies blocking lawyer's access to Turkish commandos; notes they are 'not her clients'
  • 20:42   Greek police express ‘abhorrence and sadness’ over terror attack in London to ambassador
  • 20:10   Greek bond market closing report
  • 20:08   The country's problem is not the opposition, ND says in response to IMF spokesman
  • 19:50   Labour minister to participate in ‘Nostra Europa’ event in Rome
  • 19:45   Three charged with vandalising public transport ticket machines
  • 19:26   Greek stocks end flat
  • 19:18   Kotzias to Die Welt: Turkey must respect international law, withdraw troops from Cyprus
  • 19:11   EU's future prospects the focus of Kotzias-Gabriel meeting in Athens
  • 18:43   Pavlopoulos: Greeks are oriented 'with consistency and selflessness' towards the European project
  • 17:47   Capitalisation of Greek banks 'relatively good', ECB Supervisory Board Chair tells European Parliament
  • 17:46   ΙMF’s Rice: Progress has been made in talks with Greece, work still required
  • 17:23   Special traffic measures in central Athens for March 25 parades on Friday, Saturday
  • 17:00   Immigration police arrest five women for working as private nurses without qualifications
  • 16:51   Three Navy vessels to open their doors to the public for March 25 holiday
  • 16:41   Athens to turn off lights at city hall, Lycabettus Hill on Saturday for ‘Earth Hour’
  • 16:40   Music and sculpture at National Archaeological Museum events on Monday
  • 16:01   Attica Region head Rena Dourou meets Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu
  • 15:38   Two Greeks injured in London terror attack are well, FM Kotzias says
  • 15:28   Two Greeks slightly injured in London terror attack, Greek embassy press officer tells ANA radio
  • 15:11   No Greek people hospitalised in British hospitals, according to Foreign ministry's sources (ADDS)
  • 14:45   Administrative Reconstruction Min Gerovassili sees programme review concluded in April
  • 14:42   Vivechrom strengthens production line in Greece
  • 14:15   Greek CEOs more pessimistic in first quarter
  • 13:59   Building materials' prices up 0.3 pct in Feb
  • 13:52   Fraport Greece and Intrakat sign EPC agreements for 14 regional airports
  • 13:49   Weather Forecast: Fair on Friday
  • 13:43   Aegean Airlines says turnover surpassed 1.0 billion euros in 2016
  • 13:25   No Greek people hospitalised in British hospitals, according to Foreign ministry's sources
  • 13:23   Titan Group says EBITDA up 28.7 pct in 2016
  • 13:14   Democracy will defeat the fear, SYRIZA's press office says
  • 13:11   Greek current account deficit down in January
  • 13:06   Bank of Greece raises borrowing ceiling for Greek banks
  • 13:01   No to divisions in Europe, German FM Gabriel says
  • 12:14   Culture Min Koniordou replies to question on antiquities found in former Helliniko airport
  • 11:23   Athens Stock Exchange opening: Decline
  • 11:02   18th Festival du Film Francophone de Grece opens its doors on Thursday
  • 10:23   Athens Newspapers Headlines
  • 09:57   PM Tsipras departs for Rome
  • 22:45   Regling says he believes IMF will be part of Greek program
  • 22:28   Parliament approves MoC with Azerbaijan on renewable energy
  • 22:21   Tsipras to Gabriel: Greece is determined to work to regain social contract (UPDATE)
  • 22:06   Tsipras to Gabriel: Greece is determined to work to regain social contract (ADDS, RECASTS)
  • 21:45   Tsipras expresses solidarity with British people after terror attack
  • 21:15   Tsipras to Gabriel: Greece is determined to work to regain social contract
  • 20:43   Mitsotakis speaks of ‘strategic’ partnership between Greece and Israel
  • 20:19   Foreign ministry strongly condemns 'heinous' terrorist attack outside British Parliament (RECASTS, ADDS)
  • 20:07   Greece to participate in 37th International Paris Book Fair with more than 100 book titles
  • 20:06   PM Tsipras meets German FM Sigmar Gabriel (ADDS)
  • 19:56   PM Tsipras meets German FM Sigmar Gabriel
  • 19:52   Athens Concert Hall lecture series to begin with talk on theatre in ancient Macedonia
  • 19:44   Foreign ministry ‘shocked’ by attack outside British Parliament
  • 19:14   Mitsotakis condemns London attack

eana