This Tuesday, September 18, the president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Udo Bullmann, visits Athens for a conference on the Future of Europe, co-organised by the S&D Group and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Athens. Ahead of the conference, Bullmann will also visit the areas that have been affected by the tragic wildfires this summer, killing 99 people.
“Ahead of the European elections I consider this visit an extremely important touch-down on our way towards a better Europe. We do not only come to Athens to congratulate the Greek people on exiting the third and final bailout programme and rebuilding their economy, knowing how much hardship they had to endure over the past eight years and still have to. We come to Athens because this is the best example to illustrate why we need to radically change our economic and social model if we want to build a better future for our children and grandchildren.
“The Greek crisis is the result of lack of real European economic coordination and of policies imposed by right-wing parties that prioritise the markets over the people. With their misled austerity dogma, conservatives have failed to bring back decent living conditions and dignity to the Greek people. We come to Greece because we Socialists and Democrats offer an alternative. We propose a Europe that is inclusive, open, fair, and sustainable and that works for the many, not only the few.
“We want to ensure the Greek people that we continue to stand by their side after the end of the assistance programmes. We will make sure that the European Parliament lives up to its responsibility to monitor the post-programme surveillance to ensure its appropriateness and fairness. We will carry on our fight against youth unemployment, against child poverty and for fair working conditions and better wages all over Europe. Last but not least, we fight for a reform of the Eurozone that makes repeats of the Greek situation impossible in the future.
“We also come to Greece to express our sincere condolences for the tragic losses the country suffered in the wildfires this summer in Mati. We will continue our fight to make sure that Europe stands by the countries that face the hard consequences of climate change and provide them with the necessary European support.”