“Those who are not at peace with their souls can not cope with the problems of their country, neither Europe’s nor the world’s,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday.
The prime minister had in mind the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said that he can’t show any understanding to the Greek prime minister for accusing the German government of hurting Greek pensioners.
Tsipras spoke in Greek parliament in an event dedicated to unescorted refugee children.
“Those who shake the finger at us in the name of the agreements, and address Greek people in a condescending way, they must honor their commitments first before they turn to criticize us,” Tsipras said.
Schaeuble has repeatedly said in the past that Greece is not implementing the reforms needed to help the economy to recover. “Our efforts aim to Greece so that it stands on its feet again,”he said.
Then the German minister explained further: “Solidarity can only be justified when the aid is limited and leads to change something in a positive direction. In Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus that was evident. After implementing the program, their economies are growing, rapidly for some. Greece is the third program and without the financial help of billions of euros would be bankrupt long ago. Then the Greek citizens would suffer much more.”
The Greek prime minister said during his speech that the compassion and solidarity Greece showed during the refugee crisis is more important than state budgets and fiscal targets.
“We now open our arms — and I believe this reflects the feelings of the vast majority of the Greek people — to these weak people. Despite our difficulties we keep our dignity and this is much greater wealth and much larger surplus of all budget surpluses. No matter how big fiscal surpluses some countries manage, they will never reach the surplus of soul that Greek people have,” Tsipras said.