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Is Juncker Afraid to Chat with Alexis Tsipras About the Euro-Headache Over a Glass of Aspirin?

Head of Eurogroup Jean Claude Juncker is already packing his luggage. He is due to arrive in  Athens at 2:30 p.m., tomorrow Wednesday, August 22nd 2012. Three hours later, at 5:30 Juncker will meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. After the meeting they will make statements to the media [and the Greeks, I suppose]. Then Juncker will visit the Acropolis Museum and will attend a dinner organized by Samaras to his honour. 

Juncker is scheduled to leave Athens at 1:30 pm on the following day.

However and odd enough, there is no meeting planned in Juncker’s official program with the leader of the main opposition party, Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA). Even though there was a request for a meeting with the eurogroup chief from the side of SYRIZA, as Greek media reported.

Is Juncker afraid to meet one of the “most dangerous politicians in Europe?”

Of course, he has enough free  time until he heads to Athens airport on Thursday. Therefore a meeting between Juncker and Tsipras should not be definitely excluded…

A last-minute change in Junckers’ plans possible?  Sharing  breakfast with Tsipras? Or just a cup of coffee? Or even chat on the euro-headache over a glass of water with a bubbling  aspirin?

PS It looks as if Mrs Juncker does not intend to hide a taper ware with a keftadaki, a dolmadaki and bowl of  tzatziki in Jean Claude’s suitcase…

 

 

 

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19 comments

  1. Tsipras was shunned by Hollande, Monti, Merkel, Schauble, Fekter. Why? Because he does not their game, and they know his game is quite capable of bringing down their whole sorry empire. Juncker just follows orders. Do not meet Tsipras, it might just give him, his party and the various peoples in Europe the reassurance that his policies could be viable, workable policies that produce results. Meaning, he might just show them up for the frauds they are, and that is of course unacceptable. So don’t give him that platform of respectability by talking to him.
    Of course this tactic is totally oblivious of the complete absense of respectability and credibility they all have themselves.
    This bunch of international thieves and gangster believe that claiming the suit of respectability somehow legitimizes their actions…

  2. Tsipras is shunned by all those people because he is just an opposition politician. Enlighten me, do you know any other country, besides Greece, where they expect foreign officials to talk with opposition politicians? I don’t.

  3. keeptalkinggreece

    oh, there are indeed such countries! Main opposition party leaders are important especially it extraordinary situations – as currently in Greece -and when instability (politically and/or economic) could bring fresh elections. Countless examples. Juncker does not come as LUx’s PM but as head of euro group.

  4. Could you please tell me a couple of those countries? Because I really can’t think of one.

  5. It standard protocol for a foreign official on a visit to a “friendly” country to meet up with the leader of the opposition, if for no other reason than to keep lines of communication open should that opposition leader become the next government leader.
    This normally does not cause any problems because in almost all European countries the difference between government and opposition is like the difference between two shades of grey.
    greece is however very much the exception in this order. the difference between government policy and opposition policy, especially on the way to approach Greece’s difficulties with Europe, is not a simple matter of shades of grey. It is much more balck and white. And that is what frightens the neo-liberals running the EU and EZ show. If the recognize a proper opposition, they immediately are seen to validate that opposition policy as viable.
    So ostrich policy is once again called for. Let’s stick our heads in the sand, and pretend he doesn’t exist. He might just go away…
    the mistake was made during the last election campaign, with serious and highly questionable international interference in a national Greek election, to prevent the opposition from getting that platform they were denied again by Juncker’s snub.
    The problem they have however is that Tsipras is not going away. In fact, there will very soon be a Spanish, Portuguese, Italian Tsipras on the scene, and instead of engaging with the opposition now, they will have created such a polarization that it will come to a head, and the effect will be much stronger than what they are desperately trying to avoid by snubbing Tsipras and SYRIZA the way they are doing now.

    If you want the most recent, and very dramatic, example of an official visit recognizing the existance of a very vocal and in often violent opposition, all you need to do is look back a few weeks when queen Lizzy paid a visit to Northern Ireland and shook the hand of Martin McGuinness. You can’t get it more dramatic than that. But it’s protocol.
    Not for the mandarins the the EZ ivory tower though. They prefer a policy of “preferencial democracy”, for which they lay down the rules on what constitutes “preferentiability”. And that status is handed down to their puppets only. Thereby of course killing the whole democratic notion…

  6. It standard protocol for a foreign official on a visit to a “friendly” country to meet up with the leader of the opposition, if for no other reason than to keep lines of communication open should that opposition leader become the next government leader.

    Might be a cultural thing. In non-Anglo-Saxon countries the titel of ‘Leader of the Opposition’ does not exist or is just a very informal one. And official meetings with them during an official visit is never on the agenda as I am aware off.
    If I Google for it, I see a lot of officials meeting Aung San Suu Kyi. And when I Google in my ‘other’ language I find a lot of “Greek oppositionleader … meets…”.
    Casting my mind back to the days of the Cold War I remember lots of visits to opposition leaders in the Eastern Block. Bit like now with opposition leaders in other dictatorships.
    I don’t say there are no meetings. But most are held out of the limelight in informal talks or through diplomatic staff.
    Maybe that is why I always found it a strange sight of seeing GAP and then Samaras traveling abroad and expecting to be treated like statesmen they were not at the time. I know from a diplomat how they had to duck and weave to try to avoid the embarrassment of having to deal with requests like this from Greek opposition leaders. Because, as a rule, governments deal with governments and not with parliaments.
    And I agree with that.
    Think about it for a minute. Say Hollande is “engaging” with Tsipras, hammering out deals and then go on record and hereby by-passing the official representatives of the Greek people, namely the Greek government… Wouldn’t that be a gross interference in internal affairs of a friendly country?
    And comparing the meeting between McGuinness and the queen of GB with a meet between Junker and Tsipras is silly. Those were party to a long and bloody civil war in which McGuinness was a militairy commander who might a well have ordered the assassination of a very close relative of the queen. But is there any doubt that this meet was anything other than under full consent of both the elected Irish and the British government? Don’t think so.

  7. keeptalkinggreece

    Does your protocol-problem have to do with whether the meetings are official or not? Check whether EU/US officials meet ‘opposition leaders’ in many middle east countries and central european countries. Check Turkey, Cyprus, and I do not what. Our diplomatic world does not exist only in Google lol
    PS counting beans again?

  8. Most of these meetings are indeed “un-official”, but very, very common. What is totally unheard off is the downright rudeness of a guest of the country to refuse such a meeting. The EU/EZ obviously does not like the fact that SYRIZA are where they are, but it is fact, and the childish ostrich policy they come up with is not going to change that fact. All it does is expose the EU/EZ mandarins for the narrow-minded bullyboys they are, and Juncker for the puppet-on-a-string he really is. but he performed to perfection, so he’ll probably get an extra doggy biscuit as a reward when he gets back.
    As for the meeting between MacGuinness and Lizzy, you can be very, very certain that there a lot of people with their noses out of joint because of that one, on both sides of the divide. And it would not surprise me if both discretely went and washed thier hands as soon as possible. The only reason this meeting could not be avoided is that MacGuinness happens to be deputy PM of Northern Ireland. Otherwise he would not have gotten within 10 miles of Lizzy, you can be very sure of that!

  9. Fine. So it seems to be totally normal in most of the world except for my neck of the woods. Silly ‘us’ then. If only around here they had adopted the Westminster System too… Alas…

    The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government. The Leader of the Opposition is seen[by whom?] as the alternative Prime Minister, Premier or Chief Minister to the incumbent and heads a rival alternative government known as the Shadow Cabinet or Opposition Front Bench.
    In many Commonwealth realms the full title is Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
    [edit]Specific instances

    Leader of the Opposition (Albania)
    List of Australian Opposition Leaders
    Leader of the Opposition (Australian Capital Territory)
    Leader of the Opposition (New South Wales)
    Leader of the Opposition (Northern Territory)
    Leader of the Opposition (Queensland)
    Leader of the Opposition (South Australia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Tasmania)
    Leader of the Opposition (Victoria)
    Leader of the Opposition (Western Australia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Canada)
    Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Canada)
    Leader of the Opposition (Alberta)
    Leader of the Opposition (British Columbia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Manitoba)
    Leader of the Opposition (New Brunswick)
    Leader of the Opposition (Newfoundland and Labrador)
    Leader of the Opposition (Nova Scotia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Ontario)
    Leader of the Opposition (PEI)
    Leader of the Official Opposition (Quebec)
    Leader of the Opposition (Saskatchewan)
    Leader of the Opposition (Yukon)
    Leader of the Opposition (Croatia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Dominica)
    Leader of the Opposition (Fiji)
    Leader of the Opposition (Greece)
    Leader of the Opposition (India)
    Leader of the Opposition (Ireland)
    Leader of the Opposition (Israel)
    Leader of the Opposition (Malaysia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Malta)
    Leader of the Opposition (New Zealand)
    Leader of the Opposition (Northern Ireland)
    Leader of the Opposition (Pakistan)
    Leader of the Opposition (Serbia)
    Leader of the Opposition (Solomon Islands)
    Leader of the Opposition (South Africa)
    Leader of the Opposition (Spain)
    Leader of the Opposition (Sri Lanka)
    Leader of the Opposition (Thailand)
    Leader of the Main Opposition of Turkey
    Leader of the Opposition (United Kingdom)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leader_of_the_Opposition

  10. The queen meeting MacGuinness was therefore something like Karolos Papoulias shaking the hand of Pangalos during the Papademos government?
    I would wash my hands too in that case. 😀

  11. keeptalkinggreece

    you live in the wrong forest, Antonis (2 heineken speaking here hicks!)

  12. you live in the wrong forest, Antonis

    Not for long. Just 8 nights to go before I am home!!! 😀

    (2 heineken speaking here hicks!)

    You should never EVER drink Heineken. It’s way to expensive and Amstel tasts much better. Here they used to cost around the same. Just abroad Heineken decided to market this stuff as Premium Beer. (Heineken owns Amstel, BTW.) And I am saying this while I am just 500 meters from the original Heineken brewery! 😆

  13. keeptalkinggreece

    coming to spartan home?
    PSI know about Heineken, but it tastes better than amstel, I think …

  14. Yep. Back to the Spartan ways. 😀
    Sorry to hear that you are a bit challenged in the taste-but department. 😆

  15. keeptalkinggreece

    nobody is perfect!

  16. until you have a proper pint of Guinness you don’t know what a good pint tastes like…
    Heineken? Amstel? Eau de cheval!

  17. keeptalkinggreece

    or eau de vie …

  18. vie de cheval…

  19. I agree Guiness is a real bear.

    But should we not be drinking Greek Beer, like FIX, Mythos or Hellas Pils? Keeping the Greek industry in operation and jobs in Greece?