Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slapped his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel. The incident took place at the European Council Summit in Malta on Friday morning.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was having a chat with UK’s leader Theresa May, when Tsipras approached him and passed him a friendly slap on the head.
— Dirk Hoeren (@DirkHoeren) February 3, 2017
Tweet and video by Bild’s Correspondent for Europe & EU policy.
it is not clear whether Tsipras slapped Bettel after the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where they discussed the progress of Greece’s debt negotiations and Merkel’s visit to Turkey.
Fact is they all laughed and continue chatting.
EU leaders are meeting in Malta to discuss mainly how to combat migration from Libya to Europe but also the future role the European Union amid the so-called new challenges.
According to a statement issued by the European Commission:
“President Juncker at the Malta Summit: Reaffirming European values and agreeing on measures to better manage migration and save lives along the Central Mediterranean Route
Today, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is participating in the informal Malta Summit in Valletta.
The main focus of discussions will be on how to better manage migration and save lives along the Central Mediterranean route. Leaders are expected to agree on a concrete set of short- and medium term actions which will help stabilise the Central Mediterranean route.
The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the EU-27 to have a broad discussion on the future of Europe ahead of the Rome Summit on 25 March which will mark the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.
Given the new realities and old challenges facing Europe at the start of 2017, the informal Malta Summit is a time for collective action in the area of external migration but also a moment to show unity.
It presents an opportunity to reaffirm European values and defend the tolerance, solidarity and openness that Europe is built on. Following the first working session on external migration, leaders will publish the Malta Declaration setting out concrete short- and medium term actions to improve the situation along the Central Mediterranean route and on the ground in Libya and its neighbouring countries.
Ahead of the Informal Malta Summit, the Commission and the High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini presented a number of measures that they consider leaders should agree to in order to stabilise the Central Mediterranean route.“
The Malta Declaration was adopted by the EU leaders, European Council President Donald Tusk reported.
A couple of days ahead of the Malta Summit, Donald Tusk sent a letter to the EU leaders. In his letter Tusk said that Donald Trump poses existential threat for Europe. He added that the US administration will be the greatest challenge for the EU together with Russia and China.
PS We have been used to see EC president Jean-Claude Juncker to …slap EU prime ministers.
The video with Tsipras’slap has been re-posted by several Greek news websites. Of course.