On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece, President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias emphasized the need to protect the country’s democracy, highlighting it has undergone “multiple hits.”
Papoulias stressed that no honor is enough and no words can express enough gratitude to those who fought to topple the junta.
At the same time, he made extensive references to Cyprus, noting that “we are looking at Cyprus, remaining divided after 40 years and whipped today by another crisis which it faces with determination and effectiveness that does not touch, and will continue not to, the management of the national cause. ”
The Greek President does not deny Democracy has backslided due to the crisis, while he described the situation as “the most dramatic side effect of the economic adventure.”
He also pointed out that there was a brutal injury in the quality of parliamentarism, the confrontation between parties, the political dialogue, but also the decision-making process of the executive leadership.
Referring to Golden Dawn, he stressed that ”For the first time in Greek history, a neo-Nazi parison which preaches hatred and strife acquired power.“ “One can attempt many interpretations for this phenomenon, which does not honor us as a country and as people, but the essence is that Democracy suffered multiple blows” he added.
On the matter of the ”signatures” Papoulias did not avoid mentioning the criticism he received at times.
He answered to his critics that “the Constitution clearly defines the responsibilities of the President of the Democracy and it was my decision to respect the Constitution, which has long struggled in recent years, and not violate the institutional order, causing political impression or even political crisis, just to avoid the political cost.”
Furthermore, he spoke about the need for major structural reforms and radical changes in order to remove the causes of the fiscal derailment.
He stated that a perspective for the new generation must be created in order to protect social cohesion, reduce explosive inequalities and produce a reform shock, which will quickly bring changes everywhere – in the state, the organization of the economy and the functioning of institutions.
Finally, Papoulias added that ”Our country fought through the waves in order to become a European democracy. We must protect our Democracy, make it better, more, deeper and fairer.”