Athens, 3 July 2015

Evangelos Venizelos

Can the meteorologist/Prime Minister distinguish spitting from rain?

He has led the country into an institutionally extortionate process, to an unprecedented “fast-track” referendum on an issue that is primarily fiscal, i.e. an issue which a referendum is constitutionally forbidden to be called for.

He has divided the Greek society when national unity and consensus is needed.

He tries to appear as a representative of “No”, when he could be the representative of the whole nation in the negotiations with the creditors and partners.

He has violated accepted the procedural guarantees of a genuine referendum that are accepted by the Council of Europe. He toys when he should not with the Armed Forces in tandem with his nationalist-populist associate.

He has mobilized the state mechanisms in favour of the government's point of view.

He has presented the “No” vote as a “No” to the attack of the other EU member states and the European institutions on the Democracy in Greece and in the European Union in general.

He has presented the matter as a question of national sovereignty and dignity, as if the other EU member states demonstrate a void of democracy, sovereignty and dignity that they have to fill.

He has lost every potential ally at the level of the European Council and the Eurogroup.

Tags: Articles

Athens, 1 July 2015

Evangelos Venizelos
Article in capital.gr 

There is now a matter of democracy

We have unfortunately arrived to the situation we fought - with pains, suffering and mainly with sacrifices by the Greek people - to avoid the five previous years. When I said, before the January elections, that five years of sacrifices can be lost within five days, I hoped my warning would act as a deterrent.

I was really worried by the ease with which the SYRIZA/ANEL government squandered, for nearly four months, precious national time telling obvious lies in the same cyclical rate every week.

The last twenty days, however, and especially after the publication of the government proposals on the list of financial measures, the belief was embedded that we are heading towards an agreement, one that fits perfectly in the logic and the legal framework of the Memorandum 2 and constitutes the proem of the Memorandum 3, of course.

But all of this came up against the internal political associations of the SYRIZA/ANEL construct. Party expediency prevailed over the obligation to protect the national interest.

A fleeting moment of parliamentary euphoria with the SYRIZA and ANEL MPs clapping excitedly –accompanied by the smiling tolerance of the members of the Golden Dawn- for the energetic Prime Minister who suggested a referendum, asking the people to say a loud and proud “no”, has led Greek citizens almost immediately to humiliating situations.

Closed banks, restrictions on capital movements, inability to pay pensions normally, insecurity, undermining of the tourism industry, cessation of payments to and from the public sector, a market freeze.

Tags: Articles

Athens, 1 July 2015

Evangelos Venizelos made the following statement referring to today’s “address” and yesterday’s letter by Mr. Tsipras to the heads of the Eurogroup, the Commission, the ECB and the IMF:

After having led the country to the brink of dissolution, after having deprived the country of the shield that is the EFSF programme, and the support of the ECB, after having issued a legislative act for the closure of banks and capital controls, after having sent the Greek men and women to form queues before ATMs, Mr. Tsipras continues the dumb-cunning communicative games. He is not up to the occasion.

Instead of boldly declaring that he will convene the Parliament in order to withdraw the referendum to seek reliable immediate resumption of the negotiations, he sends letters, with the only purpose being, unfortunately, to be able to say that he made several attempts, but the European institutions are intransigent. Each and every day, he makes an address, affirming his belief in Europe, while at the same time he pushes the country to the exit of the eurozone.

He is panicked by the reaction of the society, but refuses to respect the national interest.

He does not respect the democratic institutions either, since in his letters he admits that the question of the referendum is a spurious one in any case. He has already turned Greece into an object of concern for the Council of Europe, which sees violations of the institutional guarantees for free and genuine expression of the popular will in the referendum.

Tags: Statements

Athens, 1 July 2015

Evangelos Venizelos
Article in capital.gr 

There is now a matter of democracy

We have unfortunately arrived to the situation we fought - with pains, suffering and mainly with sacrifices by the Greek people - to avoid the five previous years. When I said, before the January elections, that five years of sacrifices can be lost within five days, I hoped my warning would act as a deterrent.

I was really worried by the ease with which the SYRIZA/ANEL government squandered, for nearly four months, precious national time telling obvious lies in the same cyclical rate every week.

The last twenty days, however, and especially after the publication of the government proposals on the list of financial measures, the belief was embedded that we are heading towards an agreement, one that fits perfectly in the logic and the legal framework of the Memorandum 2 and constitutes the proem of the Memorandum 3, of course.

But all of this came up against the internal political associations of the SYRIZA/ANEL construct. Party expediency prevailed over the obligation to protect the national interest.

A fleeting moment of parliamentary euphoria with the SYRIZA and ANEL MPs clapping excitedly –accompanied by the smiling tolerance of the members of the Golden Dawn- for the energetic Prime Minister who suggested a referendum, asking the people to say a loud and proud “no”, has led Greek citizens almost immediately to humiliating situations.

Closed banks, restrictions on capital movements, inability to pay pensions normally, insecurity, undermining of the tourism industry, cessation of payments to and from the public sector, a market freeze.

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

22 May 2014

 

Interview, The Guardian

How Greece pulled back from the brink of plunging Europe into chaos

Helena Smith in Athens

 

Greek deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos describes the dramatic 2011 crisis summit that nearly forced his country out of the eurozone – and outlines the damage that was averted

 

It was a meal where only four of the 14 participants spoke and nobody ate. Seated in front of crystal glasses, the finest porcelain laid out before them, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, glared at the two men on the opposite side of the table. For both leaders, entrapped in Europe's escalating debt crisis, the emergency dinner – conducted on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Cannes in November 2011 – had suddenly become a defining moment that could make or break the eurozone, the EU's most ambitious project.

Tags: Η Εξέλιξη της ΚρίσηςΣυνεντεύξεις 2014Interviews