In one year from now, Greece will have left the memorandum programmes behind it and in that one year the government must carry out its plans for a new Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday in a message marking the second anniversary of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government's election to power.
"It is two years today since the elections of September 2015; the elections that gave us, for the second time, a mandate to lead the country out of the crisis. Not the old, worn and corrupt system of power that led the country to bankruptcy and ushered us into the painful ordeal of the memorandums, but us," Tsipras said. The defeat suffered by that old establishment was not just electoral but moral, he noted.
"For the first time, a government just six months old had the moral courage to once again set itself before the judgement of the Greek people, given that it had an extremely difficult agreement on the table, which was the result of a tough negotiation and a painful compromise.
"For the first time, the people's right to know and then decide was respected... to decide who will govern with all the facts known," Tsipras said.
According to the prime minister, the people had decided that those "who had plundered public wealth, wasted the growth of the early euro years on shaky loans and stock market bubbles, who left the great majority unprotected, and then with great ease and no popular mandate thrust us deep into the vortex of memoranda that brought recession, divestment and disaster, do not have the moral standing to pose as saviours, nor the political credibility to lead the country out of the crisis."
In the two years that the government has been in power it has worked hard and was often forced to make difficult decisions. Throughout, however, it was set on the primary target, which was to lead the country to safety with the least possible injury to the social majority, he added.
Now mid-way through the government's term, an end to the ordeal was in sight and Greece's head was finally above the water, looking to the shore. "In a year from today, we will be in our third year but we will have already left the memoranda behind us. And we have one more year in front of us, the most creative of our term, in which to carry out our plans for a new Greece," he stressed.
"A Greece of equitable growth, a Greek of social progress and justice, the Greece that we and especially the younger generations of this country deserve: It is worth working even harder to make our vision a reality," he concluded.