Greece’s ruling SYRIZA’s parliamentary group meets on Monday amid important political developments, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said.
The Greek premier was talking amid a high-profile scandal involving the Novartis pharmaceutical giant and some Greek politicians.
“Responsibility, democratic consistency, constitutional loyalty, courage and political determination are now tested,” Tsipras said.
The government has the responsibility, he said, to stop the waste of state funds and shed light to corruption cases.
He also stressed the importance of respecting the law and the regulations now more than ever with “sobriety, calmness and absolute commitment to the discovery and revelation of the truth”.
“Our aim is the truth and only the truth,” he underlined.
According to the first estimates, the overpricing of drugs in the 2000-2010 period has reached €23 billion ($28 billion). “It is equivalent to one memorandum. More than 10 percent of GDP,” Tsipras said.
“If the €23 billion had remained in the public funds, we may have avoided the memorandum adventure after 2010,” he added.
“The only institutional solution is the proposal for setting up a preliminary investigation committee to thoroughly examine the case file, check whether there are satisfactory indications of committing offenses and identify the relevant prosecution and judicial responsibilities,” the prime minister said.
“We are on the final stretch of the negotiations to exit the supervision in summer of 2018,” Tsipras underlined, adding that the Greek economy has turned a page.
As he said, “the conditions were never better for tapping the markets”.
Greece in the last week raised billions of euros with the sale of seven-year bonds.
“Nobody in Europe discusses any other possibility beyond the exit, without a credit line, without unbearable conditions for the Greek people and the Greek economy,” he noted
Referring to negotiations on the FYROM name issue, Tsipras said Greece is not being called on “to give something given by previous governments, but to take back”.
He explained that “the neighbors [Skopje] must be persuaded to stop using the term ‘Macedonia’ without designation that will make clear that has nothing to do in historical or geographical terms with the Greek Macedonia.
“They must be persuaded to give back names and symbols that do not belong to them.”
Tsipras also said negotiations would not be easy, but said they were the only way.