A member of the new Greek Government has appealed for solidarity from European peoples at the Sinn Féin ardfheis.
Euclid Tsakalotos Syriza’s new deputy finance minister in charge of negotiating with international partners, said the Greek Government was seeking to negotiate a new deal on his country’s “non-sustainable” debt.
“Syriza and Sinn Féin as well as others...are part of a great realignment in European politics,” he said.
Mr Tsakalotos said such a realignment was necessary because of the crisis in existing arrangements with “traditional” parties.
He said Syriza was addressing the humanitarian crisis in Greece and had an ambitious programme of reform to address tax evasion, because Greek elites had been paying taxes “on a voluntary basis” until now.
“For all this we need the solidarity of European peoples. Some European Governments will be arguing that we should not give problematic Greeks special treatment,” Mr Tsakalotos said.
“You know that we are not asking for special treatment but for equal treatment in a Europe of equals.”
He said there would be difficult times ahead but there was every reason to believe solidarity and co-operation could over-come obstacles.
“In 2004, Syriza just managed to get into parliament...now we are in Government.
“It is time to believe that politics can make a difference, that we don’t have to accept the status quo.”
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams embraced Mr Tasakalotos on the stage at the conclusion of his contribution.