June 29, 2015
In a rare move European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker held a press conference today on GREXIT. Juncker began the conference by informing EU citizens that for the last five months he has been working in the direct process of negotiations, “sometimes day and sometimes night. ” Juncker then affirmed his commitment to keep Greece in the Eurozone by stating,
“For me Greece’s exit of the Eurozone has never been and will never be an option but I I always told my Greek friends that by saying that GREXIT is not an option” but he then stated in light of the current Greek drama that is playing out and Greece’s refusal to the EU’s terms, that although they know this is his position , “That they shouldn’t believe that at the bare end of the process I would be able to present against all the others a final answer, and a final solution to be given to what I describe as a primary Greek problem.”
In the next portion of his speech, Jean Claude Juncker went onto bust the myths around the Greek deal and in doing so has made the Tsipras look completely unreasonable. Juncker stated, “ There are no wage cuts in this package, and nobody is allowed to give the impression that there are wage cuts in this package, There are no pension cuts in this package,” and he repeats, “No pension cuts in this package. “In fact it’s a package that creates more social fairness, more growth, a more modern and transparent public administration.”
After busting the no wage cut and no pension cut myth Juncker emphasized the position of the Commission as a reasonable broker with a view to the Greek people and in line with the wishes of Syzria’s campaign manifesto.
Juncker stated, “In many instances, we in the Commission had to be the ones insisting on the most socially fair measures. I would have expected the Greek government to push this agenda in line with its campaign manifesto.”
If this was not enough to make Tsipras look totally unreasonable Juncker added,
“Fiscal consolidation means keeping public finances in control while boosting opportunity for jobs and growth, many member states have even higher fiscal targets having lower levels of debt.’
Junker emphasized that the Commission’s package was fair to the Greek people. He stated that they had asked for cuts in the Greek defense budget, “We were right in asking for cuts in the defense budget and I think that we were totally right to propose cuts in the defense budget.” Juncker stated that the Commission looked to create more social fairness by challenging Greece’s favorable tax treatment for ship owners.
In Jean Claude Juncker’s final statements he appealed to the Greek people to speak up in light of the facts he presented. He stated,
“This is a highly important moment for the Greek people and for the people of Europe. It is time for Greek’s to speak up and to shape their own destiny and more important.
He also asked for a moment of truth, for the truth to essentially come out,
“It is time for Greece’s political leaders to shoulder their responsibility, to tell their people what is really at stake, it is a moment of truth.”
Very cleverly in Juncker’s final statement he appealed to the Greek people as a member of the European family and affirmed his commitment to them by stating.
“I will never let the Greek people go down, never and I know that the Greek people do not want to let down the European Union, Greece is a member of the European family and I want this family to stand together. “
It was a brilliant speech on the part of the European Commission, busting the myths of the Greek deal while portraying the European Commission as a fair broker whose interests are the citizens of the European Union. It was also a good move to present Greece and all members of the European Union as a member of the family.
The European Union has a publicity problem, it has been portrayed negatively and inaccurately in the media and these misconceptions filter to the member states. Jean Claude Juncker killed two birds with one stone with appealing to the Greek people and busting the myths of the Greek deal but also of how the Commission is viewed not only by the Greeks but by all members.
It was also a smart move because the President of the European Commission is the leading presidency in the European Union and yet unrecognized, the move on the part of Juncker should give the Commission presidency more visibility.
Juncker’s speech accomplished more than the above, in his soft spoken speech, he made Tsipras and look completely foolish and unreasonable.
It was a smart move on the part of Juncker, to come out to the Greek people and the people’s of the EU prior to the Greek referendum, which some are viewing as a mere chess move on the part of the Greek government. Among EU politicians the big gun pulled out on the Commission in disputes by the member states, is “Referendum” and Tsipras pulled it, only in his case, he knows the big gun is going to shoot a blank. Juncker’s speech is in reaction to the big gun and lets the people of Greece know that their government is being completely irrational.Author : Erika Grey