Socialists and Democrats in Greece: "It is our common responsibility to help Greece to get out of the crisis"

When holding another of its events under the Relaunching Europe initiative, the S&D Group yesterday discussed "Ways out of the crisis" in Thessaloniki, Greece. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos gave the keynote speech on the EU and Greece. The S&D Group discussed in an open dialogue with citizens, entrepreneurs, representatives of civil society and different political movements about ways forward.

Speaking in Thessaloniki, S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda said:

"Greece needs Europe and Europe needs Greece, we can only come out of the crisis together. Based on the principle of solidarity, Europe must respond and help the reform process in Greece.

"Greece has made important and positive steps in the reform process but more needs to be done. The austerity policy of the Troika has pushed people back. I therefore repeat my criticism against the Troikas, with their harsh economic policies and undemocratic nature.

"We stand for an alternative policy, which is especially important for Greece. Instead of more austerity and ever more people suffering and being unemployed, we need more public and private investment and to encourage entrepreneurs and get young people to work.

"The availability of credits for small entrepreneurs and lower interest rates are central elements to make such a change possible. In addition, we must make the most out of the potential of young people and invest more in education and training.

"Yes, we want jobs for the people in Greece, but not any kind of jobs. We as Socialists and Democrats fight for decent jobs with wages that people can live from".

Concluding the event, Silvana Rapti, Head of the Greek S&D Delegation, said:

"The crisis has hit our country hard and we need a better Europe for Greece, as only together we can overcome the crisis.

"We must show the people that there is hope and a future for them.  We have to use the creative ideas of the many skilled people and our young people. We must continue this open dialogue and organise more of these interactive debates with the different stakeholders and groups all over Greece."

The S&D Group will hold its next event under the Relaunching Europe initiative in Cyprus on Thursday, 30 January, next week.

The Relaunching Europe initiative, launched by the S&D Group in 2012, aims at entering into a dialogue with citizens and journalists all over Europe about the future of the EU.

To read more on the initiative, please go to: www.relaunchingeurope.eu