Left MEPs meet with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras in Athens

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Members of the European Parliament’s United Left group (GUE/NGL)’s praesidium, including group president Gabi Zimmer of Germany’s Die Linke met on Tuesday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the occasion of the group's ‘Study Days’ (biannual conference)  - in Athens.  

Welcoming the group to Greece and thanking GUE/NGL for its support during these critical times, Prime Minister Tsipras told the MEPs that his government was at the end of a very difficult negotiation and was doing its best to keep Europe intact. He explained that his government had taken many steps back in order to create a more stable situation for the whole of Europe and said he was convinced that EU leaders would take the road to reality as the Greek government had made some very realistic proposals to avoid past mistakes and give Greece a chance to recover.

Concluding, Prime Minister Tsipras said that the time had come for Greece to move forward without the mistakes of the past, stressing that this was his government's basic non-negotiable position.

In response, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer thanked the Prime Minister and said the group shared his opinion that we have to change the way Europe is moving forward and that the battle being waged by Greece does not concern only Greece but was equally important for other European countries and peoples. Media reports indicated that the current countdown to find a solution for Greece was not only the last opportunity for Greece but for the European Union as a whole. She warned that if these negotiations fail, it would be a disaster for the whole European Union.

Zimmer concluded by saying that for the GUE/NGL group it was clear that under austerity policies, European values were failing and that it was impossible to keep defending human, social and ecological rights if these policies continue to be implemented in Europe. In this regard, she told the Prime Minister that the fight he is waging is not only for Greece but for all European citizens and that we would have to do more to mobilise citizens too.