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Grècia al capdavant: els eurodiputats tenen la paraula davant de debat en el ple

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20131218PHT31324_originalGreece took over the EU Council presidency on 1 January for its fifth stint at the helm. It is a presidency that is special in that it includes the European elections scheduled for May. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will this week present his government’s priorities to the Parliament and discuss them with MEPs. Ahead of this debate we asked the heads of the Greek party delegations in Parliament’s political groups and the independent MEPs for their take on the presidency.

Marieta Giannakou (PPE)
“Greece takes over the presidency at a critical moment for Europe and for European integration. The fact that Greece is actually taking over the presidency following an unprecedented crisis and a very tough financial adjustment programme goes to show how the institutional equality of all member states remains a fundamental EU principle. Especially at a time when eurosceptic forces are on the rise, we all have to rise to the occasion and rectify the structural problems the crisis brought to light. I am certain the Greek presidency will have an important, positive role to play in this effort.”

Silvana Rapti (S&D)
“With the upcoming elections for the EP and in view of the appointment of the new European Commission and its president during the Greek presidency, we need to discuss Europe and try to regain people’s confidence. The priorities of the presidency answer critical challenges: job creation, especially for young people, growth, the social dimension of the EMU and comprehensive migration management. The unifying element of the sea and the semicircle representing Parliament in the presidency logo are inspiring symbols of the journey ahead and of human coexistence to help us remember our values.”

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)
“The Greek presidency is expected to promote significant new rules for the economy, citizens and the environment at a crucial moment for Europe. Its success will be judged mainly by progress on shipping emissions, biofuels, deep sea fishing and the fishing fund regulations.”

Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE)
“The Greek presidency has a brief timeframe and scarce resources at its disposal, while the priorities set are challenging. Bold initiatives on EU integration or immigration, though extremely important, are highly unlikely to benefit the euro-complacent forces as we are moving forward to elections with eurosceptic forces in full swing. Growth and jobs is the only priority with real traction all over Europe, but, the Greek presidency and the wider EPP-S&D consensus will offer little economic reform and only occasional solidarity. We need both but in a much bolder dosage; we can hope for the best but not until after the European elections.”

Nikos Chryssogelos (Verds)
“In these tough times, the Greek presidency cannot be “business as usual”. It will need vision, and planning and to mobilise the best of Europe. The presidency must advance the cause of the green transformation of the economy with social cohesion, employment, research, scientific and environmental innovation and green technologies, promoting the social aspects of the Europe 2020 strategy and EMU. It must also successfully handle issues such as GMO commercialisation and the Solidarity Fund.”

Nikos Chountis (GUE / NGL)
“Europe must drop austerity and strengthen democracy at both the national and European levels. The presidency could have been a great opportunity to highlight how disastrous the crisis has been for Europeans. Sadly, this is not a presidency that will resist neoliberal policies. It will seek to close open all issues in ways that serve Europe’s financial elites, yet European citizens cannot take any more austerity, reductions to their salaries, property confiscations or unfair taxes.”

Georgios Toussas (GUE / NGL)
“The programme of the Greek government, fully integrated in the Europe 2020 strategy, includes mass capitalist restructuring to better protect the profitability of EU monopolies through the even greater reduction of workers’ salaries in Greece and all member states as well as the strengthening of the military arm of the EU, the Common Security and Defence Policy, and EU aggression against all peoples, independently and in collaboration with NATO.”

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Niki Tzavela (EFD)
“The Greek presidency must mark the end of the crisis in Greece as well as a new beginning for a more cohesive EU. Strengthening competiveness and reinventing Europe’s development strategy must be a central priority of the presidency. Next, economic governance needs to be further developed with Greece at the forefront of the effort to strengthen Europe’s ability to withstand future financial threats. Protecting Europe’s maritime borders and completion of the EU maritime policy should also be a priority.”

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