By Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece
June 28, 2015 -- Prime Minister of Greece, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision to not
approve the Greek government’s request for a few days’ extension of the
program -- to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the
institutions’ ultimatum -- constitutes an unprecedented challenge to
European affairs, an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign
people to exercise their democratic prerogative.
A high and sacred right: the expression of opinion.
The Eurogroup’s decision prompted the
European Central Bank (ECB) to not increase liquidity to Greek banks, and forced the Bank of
Greece to recommend that banks remain closed, as well as [imposing] restrictive
measures on withdrawals.
It is clear that the objective of the
Eurogroup’s and ECB’s decisions is to attempt to blackmail the will of
the Greek people and to hinder democratic processes, namely holding the
They will not succeed.
These decisions will only serve to bring about the very opposite result.
They will further strengthen the resolve
of the Greek people to reject the unacceptable memorandum proposals and
the institutions’ ultimatums.
One thing remains certain: the refusal
of an extension of a few short days, and the attempt to cancel a purely
democratic process is an insult and a great disgrace to Europe’s
For this reason, I sent a short
extension request again today – this time to the president of the European
Council and to the 18 heads of state of the Eurozone, as well as to the
heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request.
They are the only ones who immediately
can – even tonight – reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to
restore liquidity to the banks.
What is needed in the coming days is composure and patience. The bank deposits in the Greek banks are entirely secure.
This holds true for the payment of wages
and pensions, as well. We will deal with any difficulties with calmness
The more calmly we confront difficulties, the sooner we will overcome them and the milder their consequences will be.
Today, we have the chance to prove to ourselves – and indeed, to the world – that justice can prevail.
Once again, we have a historic opportunity to send a message of hope and dignity to Europe and the world.
In these critical hours, as we face history together, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself.
We will not allow it to overcome us.
We will succeed.
The dignity of the Greek people in the face of blackmail and injustice will send a message of hope and pride to all of Europe.