Published: Wed, 11 May 2016
The EU should show a greater amount of flexibility towards Greece, so long as the government shows leadership and continues to make reforms to restore its economy, Seán Kelly MEP told The EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, and fellow MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today (Tuesday).
“I have the greatest empathy with the Greek people and indeed with the Greek government. What they are suffering, we suffered,” the Ireland South MEP said during the plenary debate.
“We heard the same arguments too. That the debt was too big, we would default, we would be better off out of the Eurozone,” he continued, drawing parallels between Greece and Ireland.
“Yet a few years down the line, thanks to good governance and the sacrifice of the Irish people, we now have the fastest growing economy in Europe. Hopefully we can say the same things about Greece in a few years’ time.
“I was previously very critical of the Greek Prime Minister and told him he should show a bit of leadership and stop running around Europe doing interviews,” Mr Kelly continued.
“Now that they are making adjustments, we should be as flexible as we can with the Greek government so they can make the necessary recovery and enjoy economic growth as we do in Ireland today,” he added.
Mr Kelly also complimented Prime Minister Tsipras on showing great courage in changing direction in order to implement reforms, in the interests of the Greek people and his country.
Mr Kelly made his comments during the Parliament’s debate on the negotiations on the first review of progress in the economic adjustment programme for Greece, in the presence of Commissioner Moscovici.