UKIP leader Nigel Farage gave a rousing speech in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg today during which he directly told Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to lead the Greek people out of the Eurozone and reclaim the country’s democracy.
Farage told Tsipras that his country should have never joined the euro in the first place, but that it was forced to do so by big banks like Goldman Sachs and German arms manufacturers.
“When the bailouts began, they weren’t for the Greek people, those bailouts were to bailout French, German and Italian banks – they haven’t helped you at all,” said Farage to the sound of applause.
“You have been very brave, you called that referendum, when one of your predecessors tried to do the same, the bully boys of Brussels had him removed,” said the UKIP leader as Tsipras looked on.
“There were threats and bullying, but the Greeks stood firm….they will give you no more these people – they can’t afford to – if they give you more they’ll have to give other Eurozone members more – so your moment has come and frankly if you’ve got the courage you should lead the Greek people out of the Eurozone with your head held high, get back your democracy, get back control of your country, give your people the leadership and the hope that they crave,” added Farage.
The response to Farage’s speech – given that he is normally used to being heckled by pro-Brussels MEPs – was quite momentous as loud applause once again filled the room.
“Yes it will be tough for the first few months, but with a devalued currency and with friends of Greece all over the world, you will recover,” concluded Farage to the sound of cheering.
Tsipras looked fairly nonplussed but he was obviously trying to keep a straight face.
The Greek Prime Minister is still planning to strike a deal with creditors before a deadline on Thursday. Speculation is mounting that banks could run out of cash if the impasse continues, followed by civil unrest and riots.
Farage also remarked on what the wider implications of the Greek referendum were for the entire EU.
“The European project is actually beginning to die,” said Farage, adding that the people of Europe have rejected EU federalism time and time again whenever asked.
The UKIP leader said that attempts to make Europeans show allegiance to the flag and anthem of the EU had proven fruitless, noting that the ultimate agenda of a political union had failed.
“The countries of Europe are different – if you try and force together different people or different economies without first seeking the consent of those people it is unlikely to work and the plan has failed,” said Farage, adding that the whole of the Mediterranean now “finds itself in the wrong currency.”
“The continent is now divided from north to south, there is a new Berlin Wall and it’s called the euro,” asserted the UKIP leader.