Europe needs to change if it wants to be able to offer a promising future to its citizens, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday during a joint press conference at the end of the 4th Mediterranean EU member-states summit in Rome.
The summit and presser included seven member-states of the EU South: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.
“It is necessary to deepen the Eurozone on the basis of more democracy and more social cohesion,” he said.
Tsipras said Europe should not repeat its mistakes and proceed with a bold set of changes. “The issue is not to just exit the crisis but also to prevent the emergence of a new crisis in Europe,” he said, adding that 2018 could be a milestone year that will signal the end of the crisis.
“The crisis ends where it first appears, in the South. And it is ending […] with Greece’s exit from the adjustment programs in the coming August,” he said.
“Today we must talk about Europe and our common future not with the language of the crisis but with the language of common principles and values. We must talk with the language of democracy, solidarity and unity, because if something is missing today in Europe, it is not the rules of fiscal adjustment and their implementation […] It is the common rules on solidarity and convergence, social and economic,” he added.
Commenting on Greece’s relations with Turkey, Tsipras noted the need to make the Aegean “a sea of peace and cooperation, without threats, where international law will be respected by all our neighbours.”
Things in Greece getting better and better, PM Tsipras tells Gentiloni
Earlier in the day, Tsipras told Gentiloni during a bilateral meeting that the situation in Greece is getting “better and better”.
“Developments in Greece, in the economy, are especially good,” Tsipras noted. “This was apparent from the state bonds, which dropped to their lowest level in recent years, and developments from now on will continue getting better,” he added.
The two prime ministers met just before the start of the 4th Mediterranean EU member-states summit, with the participation of the seven member-states of the EU South (Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain) at the Villa Madama in Rome.
According to sources, the main aim of the seven leaders is to create a new dynamic for social Europe. The leaders of the Mediterranean countries of the Union are working on a declaration for a more dominant, social and democratic Europe. At the same time, they are going to highlight the need to reconsider the eurozone, promoting a common budget that will be more growth-friendly and democratic.
“Med 7” also supports new initiatives on the labor acquis and social protection, following the Gothenburg summit, with a special focus on addressing the migration issue and with greater solidarity with “front-line countries” such as Greece and Italy.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, according to the same sources, continues to vigorously support and take the lead in efforts to boost social Europe, as well as in boosting his commitment to resolving the migration issue. He is also expected to raise the issue of respect for international law at the Aegean and the issue of a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.