Greece debt crisis: Watch former Belgium Prime Minister take Alexis Tsipras to task

'Do you want to be remembered as an electoral accident who made his people poorer in his country? Or do you want to be remembered as a real revolutionary reformer?'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

As Greece braces itself for yet more "last-minute talks" as it heads for yet another tipping point, one wonders what exactly is said behind closed doors.

Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Alexis Tsipras: we all know what they stand for but do they ever really hammer home the point when they meet each other, or is it all a mix of niceties and restrained annoyance?

Perhaps all the parties involved could do with taking a leaf out of Guy Verhofstadt's book: the former Belgian Prime Minister stood up at the European Parliament to both lecture and plead with the Syriza leader to submit "credible reform" proposals to ensure a Greek exit from the Euro was avoided.

He said that an exit would not be bad for Mr Tsipras or anyone else in Europe - it would only be awful for the Greek people who would have to shoulder the burden.

Watch Mr Verhofstadt's speech to the European Parliament:

"I am angry I have to tell you, you are talking about reforms, but we never see concrete proposals for reforms," he said to Mr Tsipras

"There is only one possible way -  that you come forward in the coming days with a credible reform package. That means that you make a road map, a clear calendar, there are clear dates."

He also said Mr Tsipras should end the privileges of the ship owners, the orthodox church, the military, the Greek Islands and the political parties in the country.

The former Prime Minister of Belgium between 1999 and 2008 said that Europe was now running towards a Grexit rather than just sleepwalking as it had been over the last few years.

He also asked Mr Tsipras whether he wanted to be remembered "as an electoral accident who made his people poorer in his country? Or do you want to be remembered as a real revolutionary reformer?"

Comments