Greece’s emergence from nine years of crisis and international financial bailouts marks a “new day” for the country, a “day of redemption but also the dawning of a new era,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, in a televised address from the Ionian island of Ithaca.
In a speech laden with classical symbolism, the prime minister said that Greece’s modern-day “Odyssey,” which had begun in 2010, had come to an end. “The bailouts of recession, austerity and social desertification are finally over.”
“Our country regains its right to shape its own future,” he said from a hill overlooking a bay in the island where Odysseus returned after a 10-year voyage recounted by classical poet Homer.
He added that “we have left the Symplegades behind,” referring to the mythological rocks at the Bosporus that clashed together whenever a vessel went through.
Tsipras said that his government had achieved what it set out to do when it was elected to power in 2015, namely “to take the country out of the restrictions of the memorandums and endless austerity.”
“We will never forget the causes and the faces that led the country to the memorandums,” he said, warning that “new battles lie ahead.”
Continuing with his maritime metaphors, he said he would not allow those who wished to take the country in another direction take control. [Kathimerini, Reuters]