French President Francois Hollande met PASOK-leader Evangelos Venizelos in Paris. From man to man. From Socialist to Socialist. The meeting was kept secret in order to avoid diplomatic turbulence as Monsieur Le President can meet only with his counterparts, according to the protocol. The appointment was fixed Monday night and was kept under seven seals. According to Greek media, Venizelos hushed out of the country this morning and took an early plane to Paris.
There was no statement from the French President’s office about the meeting. But from the Greek side, as Venizelos could not hide his content for being able to talk face to face to the new powerful European leader.
“It was a private meeting” said Venizelos stressing that he didn’t go to Paris as a party leader, but as representative of the Greek people. Venizelos said further that he briefed Hollande about his positions for the revision of the Memorandum of Understanding. “Hollande plays a big role in the whole process”, Venizelos said.
The French President has reportedly told his Greek socialist counterpart ” We can help you in the context of the EU.”
French daily Les Echos reports that the meeting was anything but a private one, as the French President accompanied Venizelos to the exit.
Venizelos? Hollande? Meeting?
These key words were enough to stir up left-wing SYRIZA, as one day earlier the French President had refused to meet party leader Alexis Tsipras who was in Paris.
“If he [Hollande] does not keep his promises for Greece, he will become a Hollandreou” had Tsipras said while in Paris with reference of the word-game of Hollande and Papandreou, a description used by Sarkozy during the presidential elections campaign.
Tsipras left Paris for Germany, where he met leaders of the Left and Social-Democrats.
Today, all of his political opponents have been lashing out at him, accusing Tsipras for not showing enough respect to the French President.
Was the French President just piqued by Tsipras’ statement or he simply supports Venizelos who received 13. 18 percent of the votes at the May-6 elections?