«The Greek people have suffered great sacrifices. I think they have reached their limit. The patience and bravery with which they have faced the situation is admirable,» President Karolos Papoulias said on Tuesday during a meeting at the Presidential Mansion with the speaker of the Canadian Senate, Noel Kinsella.
«Until now we have sustained merciless whipping. I think we have paid for our mistakes enough,» Papoulias said. «Europe needs to understand that Greece needs help. And not just Greece, but Spain, Portugal and Ireland, to overcome the economic crisis,» the former resistance fighter added.
The 83-year-old president said that this is one of the «toughest periods of Greek history,» adding that «our greatest concern is social cohesion and that the economic crisis does not evolve into a crisis of democracy and democratic institutions.»
Usually reserved in his statements, Papoulias went on to lash out against «dark forces» that «take advantage of such situations to put themselves forward and amass power, which they could never acquire when a democracy is experiencing a period of prosperity and progress."
However, the president said that he is optimistic that «things are moving in the right direction» in terms of Greece's negotiations with its international creditors and European partners.