Sesilia Vikstrom and Sophie Id Veldt, both MEP’s of Sweden and the Netherlands respectively, actively participate in the Friendship League that was created by their half-Greek colleague Mr. Hatzimarkakis.
Every time that Sesilia Vikstrom goes to the gym, she wears a T-Shirt with the stamp “I support Greece” and often explains to her supporters the reasons why Europe should support Greece. Just like Sophie Id Veldt who watches the Greek mass media and understands that nowadays Greeks face a dead-end.
Both women and MPE’s in the European Parliament believe that Greece should belong to the EU, and this is the right time for Europe to prove its solidarity. These two politicians from Sweden and the Netherlands respectively, are Greek speakers and are part of a newborn team called Friendship League, which is gradually launched by the half Greek MPE from Germany Mr. George Hatzimarkakis, with the participation of numerous MPE’s from different states. Its purpose is to protect the image of Greece and promote cooperation.
“I am an elected representative of the United Europe. A chain is as strong as its weakest link. This is the position that Greece is in now, which is nevertheless not so weak when it comes to its contribution to history and culture. Greece has beautiful aspects which no one is referring to these days, such as democracy,” Ms. Sesilia Vikstrom, MPE of the Liberal Party claims.
Ms. Vikstrom studied ancient Greek in Uppsala University, Sweden, and later learned Greek in Athens.
“I love Greece, but I am a realist. The EU is facing a major crisis after WWII. There is a huge lack of trust. In Athens, no one trusts the Parliament, its representatives and the same is happening in the EU for a political system that is untrustworthy. It is mandatory for us to bring hope to European citizens and especially to Greece, as the younger generation that faces high unemployment is under the danger of not standing a chance in the future. We cannot belong to a continent without hope. People suffer lack of trust and hope. Whenever I go to the gym, I wear a t-shirt with the stamp ‘I am backing Greece’ and people ask me what I mean. I explain that Sweden, as a society with values, should actively show its support,” Ms. Viktrom explains, a person who visits Greece annually. Last February, she took part in the demonstrations at Syntagma Square in Athens, and her dress was destroyed from red paint, a result of the incidents that happened there. “We are Europeans, and now we are all Greeks. We should show our support, because in a different case, all that we say would be nothing more but meaningless words.”
Sophie Id Veldt: “Greeks are not lazy, they deserve a chance”
“I happily participate in this team, as a friendly act towards Greece. On the one hand, I understand that it is difficult to cut expenses and make structural reforms at the same time, but on the other hand, I do not like the way Europe is treating Greece today,” MPE Sophie Id Veldt says, a member of the Democrats Treaty.
She speaks Greek and takes part in the debates. “I watch Greek television, and I observe the current events through the internet. It is better to search for the source and cause of events in order to fully understand what is happening and form a personal opinion. I was in Athens last February and saw that the situation is complex, as well as the causes of this crisis. The truth is that in Western Europe, we had for years a development without limits and now we are facing problems, which in Greece are obviously bigger. The country is on the edge, either it will collapse or it will recover. I believe that all European countries should support each other. This does not necessarily mean a renegotiation of the financial agreement, but instead to remain united. It would be impossible for Greece not to be a part of the European Union. All the countries are being asked to reduce their budgets. But the way this is going about is incorrect.”
Chances should be given
“Cuts in annual budgets and austerity measures are inevitable, but at the same time steps towards development and the increase of productivity should be made as well. I am well aware, and I say this to everybody, that Greeks are not lazy; on the contrary, they are hard workers. It is required chances to be given to Greece and at the same time to fight corruption. We should not forget the fact that many Greeks have transferred their bank accounts abroad. In Greece, the middle class is the one that always suffers”
“There are no easy solutions anymore. The way the Euro zone was created was inappropriate and now it has to be completed. We have created the common currency and for years we pretended that everything was under control. But it is not,” Ms. Sophie Id Veldt says.