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GUE/NGL MEPs in discussion with SYRIZA President Alexis Tsipras

GUE/NGL MEPs held a meeting with SYRIZA President Alexis Tsipras this morning to discuss the future of the Left in Europe in light of the recent crackdown on the fascist Golden Dawn party in Greece.

The MEPs discussed how to reach out to people who are taken in by far-right parties' seemingly anti-establishment rhetoric, as well as how to tackle indifference and the growing lack of political participation in Europe.

Addressing the Group, Tsipras described the arrests as a “victory for the anti-fascist movement in Europe” but cautioned that there remains “major cause for concern given the extent to which neo-Nazi activists have managed to infiltrate the police and the judiciary”.

GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer said: “It is absurd to talk about paying back debts when people are struggling to survive; first of all we need to create the conditions that allow people to live in dignity and then we need sustainable solutions to the debt crisis.

She continued: “In Greece there is a humanitarian crisis with over 2 billion families living on or below the poverty line, all because of the choices imposed on Greece by the Troika through the Memorandum. The EU has a responsibility to act in solidarity, and in fact the instruments to do so already exist in the treaties, it is the will of EU leaders to use them that is nowhere to be found. Amid such social chaos the extreme right has been able to foster support. We must counter this trend and keep fighting for a Europe of solidarity and inclusion.”

Alexis Tsipras said: “Greece has been used as a guinea pig to try out barbarous neoliberal policies. We must ask ourselves whether we want an EU of social cohesion and democracy or an EU of cruelty. We want to breathe new life into Europe. A large amount of nominal debt value must be written off.”

He continued: “Nazism needs to be defeated politically, ideologically, and morally. The best weapon against fascism is democracy itself. Now is the time to decisively combat the austerity policies which are destroying Europe and leading people into a state of barbarism.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group