This is about Europe and not just about Greece

This article was originally published in the European Green Party website.

The European Council must not be allowed to dodge its common responsibility towards Europe's future. We demand an extraordinary EU summit be convoked on a date prior to the planned Greek referendum, in order to deliver such an agreed solution.

We welcome the fact that the ECB was reasonable enough to not cut off ELA support for Greek banks right away. But under the threat of a ‘bank run’ even this decision leads to a tightening of the noose. Time is running out fast.

Every day that passes without a renewed effort to diffuse the escalating and deeply damaging blame game causes deep wounds to be inflicted upon the very ideas and values that must guide the EU. These include mutual recriminations between governments, while nationalistic enemies of European unity have one field day after the other.

We do respect the right of the Greek people to have their own say on where they want to go, and we acknowledge that our Greek member party (Ekologoi Prasinoi) has come out in favour of the referendum.

It is good that the European Commission has decided to provide some transparency with regards to the content of the negotiations so far. We expect the European Council to clarify that the creditor’s side is ready to resume talks from the exact point they were broken off on Friday. We want both sides to present an agreed solution to the vote in the referendum, and to mobilise for a vote in favour of Greece’s continued membership in the Euro.

A deal must ensure that the ‘Grexit’ threat is taken off the table. The Eurozone must not reduce its ambitions to just "avoiding contagion". The deal that we advocate for and that we believe is possible should include four elements:

1. End suffocating austerity, i.e. lower the primary surplus target and let Greece have more leeway in determining how it is going to achieve the target agreed.

2. "Get real" with the reforms needed, in particular those reforms that will facilitate a trajectory promoting a new economic dynamic.

3. Open the way towards a debt relief plan.

4. Help with massive investment, notably in sustainable sectors of the economy.

Before the negotiations broke down on Friday, the difference between the negotiating positions had allegedly been narrowed down to less than half a billion Euro. It would be a mistake of historic magnitude not to close that gap.