The government brought the country out of the loan memoranda with the help of the Greek people, and as the economy grows Greeks will "taste the fruit of their efforts," Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said at a rallying speech in Thessaloniki on Wednesday evening, ahead of Sunday's elections.
The relief measures "are not small gifts and bonuses, but a return to the people of their efforts," Tsipras said, warning that the main opposition New Democracy (ND) wants to benefit the few at the expense of the many. "The IMF is returning, and it speaks Greek in a Bavarian accent like Mr. Weber's, whom ND supports for Commission president," Tsipras said, referring to EPP's candidate Manfred Weber.
"They want to divide us, to separate us into patriots and non-patriots," he charged, and referred to the Prespes Agreement with North Macedonia, which ND has vehemently opposed. Contrary to claims, he said, the agreement "obliged our neighbours to change their constitution, change their constitutional name, change names in airports and roads, change their books and put an end to claiming our own history."
Furthermore, the premier said, "now we are the only ones to have an airport named 'Macedonia' and a university with the same name, not our neighbours" and that North Macedonia became a strategic partner of Greece, instead of a tool in the hands of third parties in the region. Calling for unity in order to "safeguard what we achieved with such toil and to prevent the attempt to restore the old status quo," Tsipras said that "we can now plan for a future that's brighter than the darkness of bankruptcy" the previous governments "threw the country in."