'A victory for European democracy!', says European parliament left bloc


Celebrations in Athens after the 'no' vote won.

The statement below was released by Gabi Zimmer, president of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) bloc in the European parliament. The GUE/NGL unites representatives from left wing and socialist parties elected to the European parliament, including Greece's governing Syriza party.


I have a huge respect for the courage of the Greek people who have voted “NO” in the referendum today, despite an unprecedented campaign of fear by the EU’s ruling elites, despite the threat of being thrown out of the Eurozone and despite the continuing uncertainty.

The cradle of democracy has shown the rest of the EU that democratic will is far stronger than the scaremongering and threats of the ruling elites. The people of Greece now have the dignity they fought for in this game that is totally unworthy of the EU institutions.

The NO in the referendum means the Greeks are saying YES to a socially just distribution of the burdens for the sustainable reforms necessary in their country to fight corruption and nepotism. They are saying YES to sustainable reconstruction and growth of their economic structures and to reduce military spending. Above all, they are saying YES to mandatory negotiations on debt restructuring, including a haircut. They are saying YES to European integration and YES to European democracy.

You, the Greek people, have rebuffed Schäuble and all those who want to split the Eurozone and the EU. You have not been intimidated and have braved the bullying. Thank you to all those people who believe in European democracy and a social Europe.

The Greeks have strengthened the position of their government for new negotiations with the creditors. It is time that Merkel and Hollande assume their responsibilities and give primacy to politics and democracy over the rule of neoliberal financial market supporters.

Our solidarity is now stronger than ever with the people of Greece, of southern Europe and of all those EU regions which have had to pay the price for those gambling and speculating on the banks and the financial markets."

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