Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Left has a “historic duty” to help the country exit the crisis while keeping society alive, as he opened the second four-day conference of his party, SYRIZA, on Thursday night (13.10). “Three years after SYRIZA’s founding conference we prove that there’s a Left that doesn’t hesitate to take on its historic duty. To carry on its shoulders the responsibility for an exit from the crisis, with society standing tall. We have an obligation not to abandon this fight. We have to win this fight. It’s a historic duty. And we will win it,” Tsipras said in his speech at the Tae Kwon Do stadium in southern Athens. He said globalized economy forces the country to fight step by step for a change, both in Greece and in Europe. “We are working hard to create a realistic road map for the recovery of the economy, so that we can be released from the grip of guardianship,” he said. Tsipras said the second program review will conclude in time and will be less difficult than the first one. “At the same time, the measures for debt relief will be decided upon.”

Alexis Tsipras outlined the events of last year, saying that an exit from the euro “was not and is not a progressive plan”. He stressed that SYRIZA’s criticism of Greece’s entrance in the Eurozone was just but specified that “an exit, especially after five years of plundering of a quarter of our national wealth … would mean even more plundering”, while poorer social classes would lose their bank deposits.  Alexis Tsipras stressed the government will continue to fight large and medium-scale tax evasion, which he said has led to a “permanent hemorrhage for the Greek economy, led to huge inequalities and played a very crucial role in the intensity of the crisis in the country”. Tsipras said the government also wants to rebuild the social state which was destroyed by the previous governments and not just in the period 2010-2014.

Looking into the future, the leader of SYRIZA said the government is designing a five-year program of economic and social restructuring which will be complete in 2021. “Until then, we aspire to have achieved a series of specific and measurable objectives in redistribution, development and social protection, so that, by the end of the five years, we will have succeeded in reducing unemployment in our country by at least 10 points,” he concluded. 

GUE/NGL MEPs send their messages of solidarity for SYRIZA Congress:

Economy Minister Stathakis: Greece’s economy to grow by 2.5-3.0 pct in 2017

Greece’s economy is predicted to grow by 2.5-3.0 pct of GDP in 2017, Economy, Development and Tourism Minister George Stathakis reaffirmed on Thursday (13.10), while speaking at the Thessaloniki Summit 2016, an event organised by the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece. He said the economic figures of the last three quarters supported this forecast and appeared confident that Greece can soon qualify for the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme.

“The second quarter of 2016 is the first where we have positive growth with respect to that immediately preceding it. There is certainty that the same course will continue in the third quarter, and strong indications concerning the fourth. The image of three successive quarters with positive rates is considered a trend that creates a more permanent prospect for the economy,” he said.He said the government was also closer to achieving targets for making Greece more business-friendly, such as measures enabling the founding of a new business in a single day in a draft bill to be tabled within October.