6 Jul 2015

Greek crisis: a ‘new era for Europe’

Zoe Konstantopoulou, senior Syriza politician and speaker of the Greek parliament, tells Channel 4 News that a no vote in the country’s referendum is the beginning of a new era for Europe.

Talking ahead of the referendum vote, in which Greeks rejected eurozone bailout terms, Ms Konstantopoulou, the highest ranking female politician in Syriza, denied that Syriza was taking a “risk”.

“It is the moment of democracy,” she told Channel 4 News Economics Editor Paul Mason.

“It is the moment where people are taking their fate and their lives in their hands.” She also said that Europe needs to be “united” with “no states being considered as unwelcome”.


Greeks voted by a margin of 61.3 per cent to 38.7 per cent against the bailout terms that would have secured funds for the crisis-hit country.

Despite the victory, Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minsiter, announced his resignation afterwards saying some of the Eurogroup participants had made it clear they would prefer if he was “absent” from future negotiations.

The fallout from the referendum is now being assessed by eurozone leaders, with French President Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting for crisis talks in Paris, ahead of a summit of eurozone leaders in Brussels on Tuesday.

In London, Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a meeting with Chancellor George Osborne, Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and other senior officials to assess the impact on the UK.