Snap elections will not be held along with European Parliament elections in May, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday evening, asserting the government will complete its term in October.
Speaking at an open discussion with young people on Greece’s and Europe’s future, organised by SYRIZA EuroMP Stelios Kouloglou at the Kivotos Theatre, Tsipras said that “even though many have tried to tempt me to hold general elections the same day, it’s not going to happen.”
At the same time, the premier urged the audience to vote, because of the importance of this year’s Europarliament elections for both Greece and the EU. “The European idea, the idea of the European Union is not a conservative idea,” he noted, despite the fact it was managed by conservative powers, but it was a “radical, trailblazing and progressive” idea.
“We stand before a new reality today, at a very critical point for Europe, for the EU and for the planet,” the premier said, warning that the forces of nationalism and the extreme right in Europe are wearing the guise of going against the system, but this is misleading.
People are moved by their needs and by their dreams, he said, adding that what Europe needs today is “the greatest possible rallying of all progressive powers, from the left of the Left to the left of Socialdemocrats, including the Greens,” to join the fight against the far right and against neoliberalism, which feeds fascism.
The prime minister also spoke about the phenomenon of “brain drain” in Greece, and cautioned that its reversal would remain an empty hope unless actual steps were taken, such as the struggle for education. He mentioned among those initiatives strengthening research, and improving asphyxiating economic conditions.
In addition, Greek products of high quality can be promoted abroad and the market welcome Greek products, providing opportunities for strategic choices in production, Tsipras said, as Greece can compete against European and global markets in certain product categories. Unfortunately, the agricultural model was based on the idea of subsidies, which joined corruption in farming unions to sink agricultural production.