Film director Costas Gavras backs Tsipras' decision to call referendum

Speaking out in support of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday, film director Costas Gavras said that Sunday's referendum was necessary and expressed hope that things will go the way that the prime minister hopes.

"Alexis Tsipras is right to hold a referendum, it is necessary. I think, in any case, that the work that Tsipras has done until today is absolutely necessary and I hope that things go in accordance with his hopes," Gavras told the ANA-MPA.

He also stressed that Greece must remain in Europe and that this was also supported by Tsipras. "From what I understood this was also Tsipras' position: that Greece must remain in Europe whether 'yes' or 'no' predominate in the referendum."

"I am a democrat and therefore I will not tell the Greek people what to vote," he added, noting that this had been done enought by many people campaigning for both 'no' and 'yes'. "Let the politicians and the media explain [to the people] what a 'Yes' means and what a 'No' means and let the people answer with a clear conscience and freedom," he said.

According to Gavras, the main problem that will face Alexis Tsipras if he stays as prime minister will be to make Greece a proper state. "We Greeks are a nation but there is no state. If we do not become a state, I don't know where we're going. We will be a colony of the banks."

He was open in his admiration for the Greek prime minister, reflected in his statements to the ANA-MPA:

"Alexis Tsipras is an important leader. I always think of this young person, aged 40 years old, who arrives in Brussels, in this terrible place with all those people that have immense experience, political and economic. I am amazed that he was able to defend himself and get where he got. We don't get such leaders often in Greece and I think I have not seem the like in the last 70 years."

Gavras concluded by stating that dignity and pride were necessary for a people but also that the institutions allowed margins for such dignity and pride. "The margins must be taken and for this reason, strong leaders are needed to impose these margins," he said.

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