Speaking on a show on Greek National Television NET, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that “the currency is not a fetish” and that SYRIZA will say “no” to the proposition of the country’s remaining in the eurozone if the price for the Greek people is too great.
Answering whether he also agrees with SYRIZA member Panagiotis Lafazanis, who said that the euro cannot be a “fetish,” Tsipras remarked, “I strongly agree. The currency is not a fetish. Does it matter if it is the drachma or the euro? I am one of the most ardent supporters of a stable Europe. We must stay in Europe, our future is here. But if the Memoranda continue they will lead us out of the euro and turn us into Africa. A country with 1.5 million unemployed, failed schools and hospitals, hungry children and wages of 300 euros looks like a country from Africa.”
Asked whether he would say “no” to the euro if the price for the Greek people were too great, the SYRIZA head said, “if we accept the euro and nothing else, then we won’t be able to negotiate, nor will we manage to have better conditions for Europe. We say ‘yes’ to the euro, which is the national currency, but we will fight for equal participation in the Eurozone, because starvation wages are not equal participation.”
Earlier, during his speech in the city of Patra, he spoke about replacing the memorandum and renegotiation of the unfavorable terms in the loan agreement, giving a clearer example of what he will do in his first day of office in the event he gets elected.
Tsipras argued that a vote for SYRIZA ensures the benefit gained by Spain, which achieved funding without an accompanying memorandum and paralleled his plans with what Rajoy has achieved in that Mediterranean country. He described the memorandum as “a worthless piece of paper,” while clarifying that “the dilemma between the euro or SYRIZA no longer exists” adding that “even (German Finance Minister) Schaeuble said that we do not want and cannot legally expel any country from the Eurozone.”