Alexis Tsipras Address to the People of Greece (English Translation)


My fellow Greeks,

For the past six months the Greek government has been giving battle in conditions of unprecedented economic asphyxiation, to implement your mandate, of Jan. 25. It was a mandate to negotiate with our partners to end austerity and to restore prosperity and social justice to our country.

(It was) for a viable agreement which would respect both democracy, common European rules and would lead to a definitive exit from the crisis.

Throughout this negotiation period, we were asked to adopt bailout agreements which were agreed with previous governments, even though these were categorically condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

But we did not, even for a moment, contemplate yielding. That is, to effectively betray your own trust.

After five months of tough negotiations our partners, unfortunately, concluded at the Eurogroup the day before last with a proposal, an ultimatum, to the Hellenic Republic and the Greek people.

An ultimatum which contravenes the founding principles and values of Europe. The value of our common European structure.

The Greek government was asked to accept a proposal which accumulates unbearable new burdens on the Greek people and undermines the recovery of Greek society and its economy, not only maintaining uncertainty, but by amplifying social imbalances even further.

The proposals of the institutions include measures which lead to a further detribalization of the labor market, pension cutbacks, new reductions in public sector salaries and an increase in VAT on food, eateries and tourism, with an elimination of tax breaks on the islands.

These proposals clearly violate European social rules and fundamental rights to work, equality and to dignity, proving that the aim of some partners and institutions was not a viable and beneficial agreement for all sides, but the humiliation of the entire Greek people.

These proposals prove the fixation, primarily of the International Monetary Fund, to tough and punitive austerity.

It makes it more imperative than ever that leading European forces rise to the occasion and take initiatives which will draw a line under Greek debt, a crisis which also affects other European countries, threatening the future of European unification.

My fellow Greeks, we are now burdened with the historic responsibility, (in homage to) to the struggles of the Hellenic people, to enshrine democracy and our national sovereignty.

It is a responsibility to the future of our country. And that responsibility compels us to answer to this ultimatum based on the will of the Greek people.

A while ago I convened the cabinet, where I suggested a referendum for the Greek people to decide in sovereignty.

The suggestion was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow the plenary of the Greek parliament will convene to ratify the proposal of the cabinet for a referendum next Sunday, July 5, posing the question of the acceptance or rejection of the proposal by the institutions.

I have already communicated my decision to the President of France and the German Chancellor, the President of the ECB, while tomorrow in correspondence to the EU leaders and institutions I will formally request a few days extension of the (bailout) program so the Greek people can decide, free of pressure or coercion, as is dictated by the Constitution of our country and the democratic tradition of Europe.

My fellow Greeks,

To this blackmail-ultimatum, for the acceptance on our part of a strict and humiliating austerity (proposal), and with no end to it in sight nor with the prospect of allowing us to ever stand on our feet economically or socially, I call upon you to decide sovereignly and proudly, as the history of Greeks dictates.

To this autocratic and harsh austerity, we should respond with democracy, with composure and decisiveness.

Greece, the cradle of democracy, should send a strong democratic answer to Europe and the world community.

I am personally committed to respect the result of your democratic choices, whatever those may be.

I am absolutely certain your choice will honor the history of our country, and send a message of dignity to the whole world.

In these crucial hours, we must all remember Europe is the common home of its people. There are no owners or guests in Europe.

Greece is, and will remain an indispensable part of Europe and Europe an indispensable part of Greece. But Greece without democracy is a Europe without identity or a compass.

I call upon you all to take the decisions worthy of us.

For us, future generations, for the history of Greeks.

For the sovereignty and dignity of our people.



  1. Charles S. Tatakis on

    I believe the response by Prime Minister Alexander Tsipras is a long awaited communication for people living in English speaking counties. My thought are with Mr. Tsipras and Greek citizens as many wish that the disputes are settled with minimal strife retrieved by all parties concerned. It is suggested that there is so much emotion and anxiety around these circumstances that the facts are presented for consideration as it appears that much of the media presentations are vague, unreasonable and inaccurate;

    1. The Greek national debt is approximately $400 billion($EU) Euros or approximately $36,400 per citizen. This debt per citizen is much less than most of the worlds developed countries. (Japan- $100,000; US $ 59,000).

    It does seem that the loan basis is highly egregious, unreasonable.

    Therefore I would be compelled to feel that Mr Tsipras is correct, the terms of the loans and weight put onto the Greek citizens is inappropriate and it is beginning to appear that there are ulterior motives by the IMF administration to force Greece out of the EU. A few Professors of Economics have noted that the terms of the “mortgage” are highly inappropriate.

    Generally, the situation was obviously administrated poorly by both sides. I believe Greece needs to be independent and present a depreciated Drachma, restructure the economy without starving retirees or punishing it’s citizens.

  2. Sally Tournas on

    Well said, Alexis Tsipras. I commend you on the handling of the situation thus far, and wish you strength and determination, “Courago”, in order to continue to lead Greece through these difficult times. I would urge you to explore emergency avenues to pursue an international legal hearing that would force Germany to pay back their debt to Greece. May I also suggest an international fundraiser. Certainly, money is needed. In addition, perhaps those in a position to hire employees overseas, could be reminded that Greeks need jobs and that this is a better time than usual, to plan a trip to Greece. We don’t want to lose our country as a haven to the privileged few who can afford to buy it up and are doing so, and want it to remain home for the Greek people.

    Many of us abroad are watching the situation unfold and feeling great sadness about the crisis Greece finds itself in. We would like to help in any way that we can. Please let us know, what we can do to help.There is much strength in numbers and while I speak only for myself, I am certain I am not alone in letting you know, we stand with you. There is power in money and while we many need to build a Trojan money horse…we will get through this. With an end to corruption; good governance; accountability and transparency in governance; a willingness of all Greek citizens to pay their fair share in taxes (as opposed to saving a few bucks under the table); a creative job program; a lot of determination and a little luck, the economy will turn around.

    Here’s hoping calm heads prevail…people don’t panick…and the Greek Gods are with us!

  3. Finally someone who puts his Country and the Greek people first ,
    Finally someone who stood up to the Dictators who want to Humiliate Greece and the Greek people .
    Finally someone who will not sell out like the previous Prime Ministers did
    Greece has a History of other Nations trying to Destroy her in one or an other and every time she Rises like the Phoenix that she is ,Her history proves that .
    Let the Greek people decide their fate ,let Democracy take its course , at the end the Greeks will amaze the world just like they have for the last 5 thousand years
    Do you think it is a coincendance that Greece and its Langauge was chose by God to spread his Word to the Gentiles ,I think not .
    Forever Greece

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  5. John Andrews Anagnostaras on

    Tsipras should stick to his proposals. Any agreement that is not economically viable does not make any sense.

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