“Greece’s brand name is still very strong,” said the prime minister, while speaking at the 27th general assembly of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) on Thursday evening. He noted that the decision for early elections was not in the plans, but was taken for reasons of respect for the democratic process and the popular verdict, and he personally guaranteed that the pre-election debate would not take place in a toxic environment that undermines the economy and democracy.

Taking stock of the four-year mandate, Mr. Tsipras spoke about the country’s exit from the memorandum austerity policies, he outlined the positive prospects that are emerging but warned: “The way forward is not a given, no matter what happens.”

He explained that “the road back to deadlocked austerity policies, which have so badly affected Greek society and which will pull us all down again, has not closed definitively.”

In conclusion, he set the election dilemma: “The final decision is up to the Greek people. In the upcoming elections, Greek women and men will be called to decide whether we move forward safely and with prospects, or whether we will return to the vicious circle of austerity, and a proverbial ineptitude in the management of the country’s finances.”