Syriza government is strengthening social justice and equality

The bill on the legal gender recognition that has been adopted by the Greek Parliament creates a solid legal framework and provides the necessary institutional safety nets for the persons involved. It also abides by the provisions of the Council of Europe and above all, it constitutes an important step to tackle discrimination, secure human dignity and self-determination, all fundamental elements of a democratic political system and essential features of a progressive agenda.

Greek citizens might be well-concerned about the neoliberal policies that have been imposed in Eurozone, nonetheless we need to point out that the Syriza government, within a restrictive political framework, is creating the conditions for economic growth and the final exit from the bailout programs, while promoting progressive policies. Such policies gradually reinstate social justice and fight against obsolete conservatism, inequality, racism and social stigmatization.     

The respect and protection of human rights, especially for those rights referring to the core values of human dignity, is a critical pillar of the Left. The fierce and outdated approach of the front opposition party, New Democracy, and of the leadership of the Greek Church, turn the implementation of major social policies an utmost priority for any progressive government. 

The stance of a considerable part of Greek mass media and newspapers that have been publishing depreciating, so-called reports targeting specific and vulnerable social groups can only ignite hate, deepen social and sexual discrimination within the society. Dialogue and strong argumentation are always welcomed and necessary within a democratic society, contrary to ultimately biased reports that stiffen the strongholds of conservatism and praise short-sighted approaches. 

The speech of the leader of ND party, Mr Mitsotakis, in the Parliament plenary was at least disappointing, not to say anachronistic, full of weird and irrelevant remarks that have unveiled in the most eloquent way the ideological inclination of his party from a once liberal approach towards a marginal, populist one, fully compatible with a neoliberal narrative.    

Nonetheless, we need to stress out that himself, as well as his party, make ideological lines, agendas and projects clearer and transparent, helping people to perceive the clash between conservatism, social injustice and homophobic retrieval from one side, and social solidarity, justice, and the firm protection of human rights from the other side.   

* Dimitris Papadimoulis is Vice-President of the European Parliament, head of Syriza party delegation.

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