Yiannis Bournous

Member of the Political Secretariat of SYRIZA

Head Responsible for European Policy, International Relations, Foreign Policy & Defense, Greek diaspora

Dear friends,

I am coming from a country which, in the last five years, was used as an experimentation field for the establishment of an authoritarian, neoliberal regime.

The extreme austerity programs that were applied in Greece by both social-democratic and right-wing governments, in cooperation with the EU and the IMF, lead to a social disaster.

Greece has 1,5 million unemployed people. General unemployment rate has reached 30% and youth unemployment is at 60%.

In the last 3 years, more than 300,000 Greeks, among them more than 100.000 young scientists, have migrated abroad to find a job.

In the last 5 years, 1/3 of the Greek population has lost access to social security and free healthcare.

Because of neoliberal austerity, Greece has become a victim of a humanitarian crisis.

That’s why, in 25 January, the Greek people made a historical decision: They elected SYRIZA as the leading political party in Greece and gave us the opportunity to form the first left government in the history of our country.

SYRIZA and the Greek government are fighting to end austerity policies and restore people’s dignity, solidarity and democracy.

We are fighting to stop the humanitarian crisis, by offering free electricity, free healthcare, free food and low-cost housing to hundreds of thousands of people who live in extreme poverty.

We are focusing on a program for the recovery of the society and the economy; for the protection of the popular and middle classes, the youth, women, workers, farmers and pensioners.

Step by step, we are building a new, truly democratic and transparent state.

We are fighting against corrupted, bureaucratic and clientelist mechanisms that ruled our country for the last 40 years.

The Greek government has already approved a law for the restructuring of private debts of over-indebted households and small and medium businesses towards the state and social security funds, so as to assist weakest citizens in repaying their debts.

We are also preparing regulations for the reduction of the cost of medicine, free public transports for long-term unemployed citizens, reduction of the tax on heating oil, protection of primary residence of over-indebted citizens from bank confiscations.

Last but not least, one of our central aims is to restore collective contracts and the minimum wage in the private sector, in order to give our workers the chance to work under decent conditions with decent wages.

At this point, allow me to send a warm message of solidarity to the workers in Renault and Fiat-Tofas in Bursa who are fighting for the same reasons.

The fight of SYRIZA and the Greek people for a better future is not only a national fight.

It is a common fight with all the peoples of Europe that are fighting against misery and unemployment.

It is a common fight with all progressive and democratic social and political forces, which are fighting for democracy, peace and social justice.

The political change that is taking place in Greece opens the window for progressive changes in our region and in Europe as a whole.

In the current, turbulent period of social, economic, cultural and military crises, the reinforcement of peoples’ solidarity is a historical duty for the protection of our region from chauvinistic and extremist tendencies.

SYRIZA is ready to open the dialogue and cooperate with all democratic forces.

A dialogue among equal partners, based on the principles of peace, solidarity, democracy and mutual interest, as the only way to resolve existing challenges.

Because, as Nazim Hikmet once wrote:

“The most beautiful sea hasn’t been crossed yet.

The most beautiful child hasn’t grown up yet.

The most beautiful days we haven’t seen yet.

And the most beautiful words I wanted to tell you

I haven’t said yet…”


İzmir, 23 May 2015
HDP Electoral Rally