Athens, 29 June 2015

Evangelos Venizelos
Article in "TA NEA" newspaper

The grand delusion

In January, a large part of the Greek people believed that, without causing a problem to the European acquis of the country and without calling into question the improvement in the fiscal condition that was achieved owing to the sacrifices of the 2010-2014 period, they could make a choice of a government with radical characteristics.

A portion of the electoral base of SYRIZA believed the generous election promises of the Thessaloniki programme. Some had given importance to the ideas of unilateral actions concerning the debt and to an international conference on its haircut.

Others had more specific incentives concerning e.g. repealing the ENFIA tax, restoring public sector wages or restoring the 13th pension.

Almost all were convinced that it a new, unconventional government could accomplish a more aggressive and more effective negotiation with the EU and the IMF. It could remedy injustices, avoid new fiscal austerity measures, guarantee the current level of wages and pensions. Always within Europe and the eurozone, though.

All remarks on the lack of a plan B, on the risk of the cancellation of everything that was achieved during the previous five difficult years, on how easy it is for the country's European course to be questioned, its position within the eurozone, on the stability of the Greek banking system, on the average standard of living in the Greek society despite all the inequalities and injustices that exist, were ignored.

Tags: Articles

Athens, June 27, 2015

Evangelos Venizelos made the following statement: 

The political fraud is evolving now in a coup that degrades democratic processes, that poses an immediate risk to the European course of the country and threatens the historical acquis.

It is proven, in the most brutal way, that the Tsipras/Kammenos government never negotiated. They have squandered six valuable months, aggravated all sizes of the economy, weakened the position of the country and deliberately exposed it to the extreme claims of the creditors, having in mind -from the start- the violation of the referendum process.

Now, just three days before the expiry of the extension of the program, with banks in a critical state, each day awaiting the ELA aid, with the country under direct threat of a disorderly bankruptcy, Mr. Tsipras thinks he is evading responsibility by organizing a caricature referendum in violation of the Constitution.

Mr. Tsipras and those with him do not take anything into account and do not regret anything; neither the sacrifices of the people who want the country to stay in the eurozone, nor the national damage caused by playing with things he should not play with.

The referendum on a crucial national issue, when the issue is directly and primarily financial, is contrary to Article 44, para. 2 of the Constitution.

Tags: Statements

Πέμπτη 25 Ιουνίου 2015

 

Intervista di Ev. Venizelos al giornalista Ettore Livin quotidiano de la Repubblica

ATENE. “L’accordo con i creditori è l’unica soluzione possibile. Tsipras non ha un mandato per portare il paese fuori dall’euro. Se lo facesse, ci sarebbe un urgente problema di legittimità democratica”. Evangelis Venizelos, quanto a rapporti con la Troika, sa di cosa parla. E’ stato fino a 15 giorni fa presidente del Pasok, partito che ha governato per 40 anni assieme a Nea Demokratia la Grecia fino a portarla nel 2010 sotto l’ombrello di Bce, Ue e Fmi. Come vicepremier e ministro degli esteri del governo Samaras è il vero architetto del memorandum firmato nel 2012 con le istituzioni. Il 25 gennaio il paese - stremato dall’austerity – ha consegnato il potere a Syriza. E i primi cinque mesi di governo, sostiene, hanno avuto un solo effetto: “Far lievitare il costo per salvare il paese”.

Siamo al rush finale dei negoziati, come vede la situazione?

“Tsipras nelle ultime ore sembrava aver preso una decisione difficile ma obbligatoria e di cui sono contento: tenere la Grecia nel solco della Ue evitando di pilotarla verso un default incontrollato o la Grexit. A pagare il ritorno alla dracma sarebbero i più deboli. Ma siamo arrivati qui pagando un costo altissimo. L’economia si è fermata. A gennaio il Pil 2015 era previsto in crescita del 2.5%. Ora siamo a quota zero se non a rischio recessione. I sacrifici imposti ora dai creditori equivalgono al danno fatto da questi 150 giorni di inutile stallo nei negoziati. In confronto a quelli chiesti al nostro governo a fine 2014 con la mail ad Hardouvelis erano un gioco da ragazzi”.

Tags: Interviews

Αthens, 23 June 2015

Answering a journalist's question on the developments in the negotiations, Ev. Venizelos said:

The relief we feel, because the country avoids the destruction which its government threatened it with -five years after 2010- cannot hide the fact that we have reached this point in the worst possible way.

The lost five-month period has vastly raised the bill.

The Greek people are called upon to be submitted to recession measures. As I have said, the Hardouvelis email seems like child’s play compared to the list of measures agreed by Mr. Tsipras’ government. And we are still not finished.

It should be understood that the only solution to the debt is to follow in the footsteps of 2012. The government is finally obliged to admit a historical truth that it has slandered and concealed.

We wish for a growth package to be received, but these are Community and national funds that exist and which the government has abandoned in the last five months.

Tags: Statements

Athens, 21 June 2015

Evangelos Venizelos
Article in "TO VIMA" newspaper

The moment of truth

After five months, the moment of truth is approaching for everyone.

The situation is of considerable interest to analysts, to the international media and especially to the institutional actors of the EU, the IMF and the global economy, as the strength of the eurozone and the relations of the markets with the states and the monetary areas are being put to the test. First and foremost, though, the historical course of our country is being decided.

After all, it is not at all common for a developed country, a member of EU and the eurozone, to be placed voluntarily under conditions of total uncertainty for its institutional and monetary identity.

Only we do not belong to either the spectators or the analysts. We are the topic itself; we, as a people and as a nation. Not Mr. Tsipras and his government, which has limited incumbency and limited mandate, as with all the elected governments in all democracies.

Therefore, I refuse to speculate on what will happen. I refuse to try to get into the mind of Mr. Tsipras. But I wish and hope that he has all the implications in mind. I wish and hope that he is aware of the size of his responsibility.

If so, then on Monday night the European Council will come to a unanimous decision, i.e. an agreement accepted by the Greek prime minister, who will guarantee to his counterparts its approval by the Greek parliament and its implementation.

Tags: Articles

Νέα Υόρκη, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

Ομιλία Αντιπροέδρου της Κυβέρνησης και ΥΠΕΞ Ευ. Βενιζέλου στη Συνάντηση Υψηλού Επιπέδου της Γενικής Συνέλευσης για τους Αναπτυξιακούς Στόχους της Χιλιετίας σχετικά με τα άτομα με αναπηρία (HLMDD)

Mr. President of the General Assembly
Mr. Secretary General
Excellencies,

It is common truth that the synergy and collaboration of the international community constitute the cornerstone, the basis for an action. Today, we have a great opportunity to go a step forward in order to close the “gaps” and fight exclusion and discrimination. This HLMDD gives us the chance to underline and reinforce the existing connection between disability, human rights and development by advancing the mainstreaming of disability in development policies.

The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP), in 2006, was a landmark in the history of the human rights. It is now the moment to ensure that the international community’s commitment for a disability-inclusive development agenda will be translated into action.

Tags: Κράτος Δικαίου | Δικαιώματα και ΕλευθερίεςSpeeches

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The peril of historical regression of Europe and the responsibility of European Socialists and Democrats

by Evangelos Venizelos

Europe is experiencing the threat of a great historical regression. The European acquis in the second half of the twentieth century is under intense questioning and the irony is that this has resulted from the combination of the most ambitious step in the process of European integration, the euro, as well as the financial and fiscal crises that feed into one another and are addressed symptomatically in a piecemeal way, but not structurally.

What is now being questioned is not just the European welfare state in its different versions, but also, as we see happening already in many countries, the level of employment and income, the sense of security and quality of life, the model of growth, the competitiveness data and the redistribution mechanisms. We see arising now a problem of social cohesion and solidarity, a problem of intolerance, lack of pluralism, a problem of European historical memory and consciousness. Therefore, we see now a problem for democracy and the rule of law, through the rise of different versions of an extreme right that is overtly violent and pro-Nazi. This is mainly occurring in countries that are at the heart of the crisis and are applying pro-cyclical fiscal adjustment programs that exacerbate recession and unemployment. However, the entire European economic and social environment is recessionary, pessimistic and insecure.

Tags: Articles

An article by Evangelos Venizelos on Professor Peter Bofinger’s book
Back to D-Mark: Germany needs the euro

The publishing event of 2012 in crisis-stricken Greece was probably the publication of Professor Peter Bofinger’s book “Back to D-Mark: Germany needs the euro” ( in Greek : Polis Editions, translation  by Elise Papadakis).

Professor Bofinger, a member of the German Council of Economic Experts since 2004, becomes perhaps the best advocate of the Greek case to the German and European public. On the one hand, he is completely reversing all negative stereotypes that had been cultured for months against Greece, and on the other he presents with clarity the difficult reality of European correlations and the deeply rooted economic nationalisms that still exist in the heart of Europe.

Tags: Articles

Vendredi 4mai 2012 En Grèce,

En Grèce,  "il faut bâtir une alliance proeuropéenne"

par Alain Salles

Athènes, Correspondance

Le bureau d'Evangelos Venizélos est en chantier, comme son parti. Il est transformé en studio de télévision, envahi de caméras, pour cause de campagne électorale. L'ancien ministre des finances a pris les rênes du Parti socialiste grec, le Pasok, six semaines avant les élections législatives du 6 mai, cruciales pour le pays, où les sondages prédisent au parti créé par Andréas Papandréou l'un de ses plus mauvais résultats: de 14 % à 19 % des voix, alors qu'il l'avait emporté en 2009 avec 44 %.

Les plans d'austérité répétés ont fait fuir l'électorat. L'ancien ministre s'est fait une raison: "Nous n'avons pas décidé d'appliquer des mesures de rigueur très difficiles par choix idéologique ou politique. C'était une nécessité dans une situation économique extraordinaire. Nous avons dû prendre des décisions qui allaient à l'encontre de nos traditions politiques."

Pourtant, M. Venizélos n'est pas pessimiste. Pour au moins deux raisons. Comme à peu près tous les partis grecs, il place beaucoup d'espoirs dans l'élection de François Hollande en France: "Un changement à la tête de l'Etat français sera le début d'un changement plus profond des rapports de force européens. Aujourd'hui, nous avons une Europe unidimensionnelle, très conservatrice, avec une approche monétariste et néolibérale. Le nouveau président français peut être la clé pour envisager l'avenir économique et monétaire européen sur de nouvelles bases, en faveur de la croissance."

Tags: Interviews

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Greece elections: In an exclusive interview, socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos issues election rallying call 
Polls show more than 75% of Greeks remain supporters of the euro despite enduring the steep pay and pension cuts

by Helena Smith

Evangelos Venizelos thinks twice before saying more or less anything. The man who helped pull off the biggest debt restructuring in world history in the continuing attempt to keep a Greek bankruptcy at bay speaks with all the caution of the constitutional law professor he was before he went into politics.

But only days before Greeks go to the polls, the bullish former finance minister is in no doubt that Sunday's election is the "most critical" the ailing country has faced since it returned to democracy in 1974.

"The battle will be decided in the last few days," he said in his first major interview with a foreign newspaper since assuming the helm of the socialist Pasok party in March. "The Greek people will have to give a clear answer as to whether it wants [to follow] a pro-European course, which is safe and responsible, or something else."

If it elects "something else", the country that sparked Europe's escalating debt crisis will not only be turning its back on the "progressive reforms" to modernise its moribund economy, it will be choosing to throw the eurozone into deeper turmoil.

Tags: Interviews