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“It is high time for political change in Greece”, says Iratxe García ahead of S&D meeting in Athens


07 Mar 2023


Global Europe

From 9 to 10 March, the S&D Group’s Bureau – president Iratxe García and vice-presidents – will be on a mission in Athens, hosted by PASOK leader and S&D MEP, Nikos Androulakis.

Among the topics to be tackled: the ongoing housing problem, which puts more than 700,000 families in danger of losing their homes; and the precarious employment situation of young Greek professionals, which will be discussed with civil society representatives and young workers. These working sessions will be streamed live on Thursday from 4pm until 7pm local time, in English and Greek, on the S&D website and on PASOK’s YouTube channel.

The agenda includes a meeting with experts on energy poverty on how to bring down the bills, a visit of a network for migrant and refugee women living in Athens, and a meeting with representatives of the LGBTQI+ community. 

On top of this, the S&Ds will take a closer look at the situation of the rule of law and media freedom in the country – something the S&Ds in the Parliament have been alerting the EU institutions about. As confirmed by numerous independent civil society organisations, Greece has witnessed an alarming regression of the rule of law in recent years. The spying of the President of PASOK, journalists and high officials, abusive lawsuits against journalists, criminalisation of NGOs – these are alarming signs of Greece’s democratic decline, which poses a direct threat to the fundamental values of the EU.

S&D leader, Iratxe García, said:

“Firstly, I want to express my solidarity with the Greek people and with all those who are mourning for their relatives. This rail accident should never have happened, and we should all do our utmost to prevent any such tragedy happening again.  

“We Socialists and Democrats are going to Athens to support PASOK in their efforts to promote our common European agenda – which includes the reform of EU economic governance – so that there will never again be troikas. We want to create new decent jobs for young people so that they don’t have to emigrate; we want to ensure affordable housing and we also want to protect democracy from any authoritarian laws that may undermine freedom of press or the rule of law, as we have seen with the current Greek government.

“It is high time for change in Greece, and we want to show what a credible alternative looks like.”

PASOK leader and S&D MEP, Nikos Androulakis, said:

“I am happy to welcome the S&D Bureau in Athens. The visit is taking place under the heavy shadow of the unspeakable tragedy, experienced by the Greek society with the railway accident in Tempe, which highlighted the inability of the state to guarantee the safety of citizens.

“During our meetings, we will have the opportunity to discuss issues of concern to Greek society such as the precarious work conditions for young people, energy poverty, the functioning of the rule of law, respect of human rights, the need to protect the primary residence of vulnerable borrowers and the need to address the increasing cost of housing. We owe the young generation a better future with a state that respects citizens and ensures sustainable and socially-just economic growth.”


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