09.07. 2015 Tunne Kelam MEP on Greece: Equality and solidarity apply equally for all

Tunne Kelam MEP speech at European Parliament debate on Greece, 08 July 2015

I would like to extend my solidarity to Greek people and equally to the Commission President Juncker.

Referendum and reforms sound very similar - at the beginning.

But they do not mean the same thing.

Mr. Tsipras, you cannot substitute the urgency of fundamentally reforming your country just by a vote.

You have not explained why your Government, having a strong mandate, is not able or willing to come forward with any concrete reform programme, including cutting the civil service and striking down on big tax evaders.

With all sympathy for Greek pensioners, Greece spends on pensions 17% of GDP, while Estonia, Ireland and Lithuania each spend less than 8% of GDP. However, we have survived. And reformed.

Therefore, equality and solidarity apply equally for all. Only from communist times we know the model "some are more equal than others".

It you will not come forward in coming days with concrete and credible offer of reforms, conclusion can only be that you are not operating in the interests of Greek people but may well be part of a bigger enterprise of rocking the European boat in typical leftist-communist understanding: "the worse the better".