Greek prime minister: Europe facing a "deep political crisis"

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday that Europe is still reeling from the financial crisis that prompted political turmoil and led to the British referendum.

"Europe is in a deep political crisis as a consequence of the financial crisis and of the way that the leadership of Europe handled this crisis," Tsipras told reporters during a visit to Strasbourg. He added that the question of more or less Europe was false, saying a better Europe was needed.

"I think that today is a crucial time for Europe as a whole. Tomorrow is the British referendum, and all the interest of the people is there," Tsipras said.

Tsipras said that one year ago, international focus was on Greece as it struggled to hammer out an emergency financing agreement brokered in Brussels to stave off a Greek bankruptcy and exit from the eurozone.

Greece itself came close to an exit from the EU, or Grexit, last year. In July Greek voters resoundingly voted "no" to austerity measures laid down by bailout creditors.

"I'm afraid that Europe as a whole is at a difficult crossroads," Tsipras said. "So, I'm not so happy that we're not talking about Grexit now, because we are talking about Brexit. We are talking about the future of Europe without an optimistic mood."

Tsipras, who was scheduled to address the Council of Europe on Wednesday afternoon, said that it was a time to buttress Europe's fundamental principles of "solidarity, democracy, social cohesion."

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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