President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz arrived at the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras but the timing was bad. It was raining. An obviously disappointed Schulz immediately pointed with the finger towards the sky in front of PM Tsipras’ nose. Martin Schulz complained right away about the shortage of sunshine in debt-ridden country, alleging an insurgent action against European stereotypes of “sun-bathing Greece”, an unilateral and unprecedented move clearly and undoubtedly showing the lack of solidarity with Europe.
“Where’s the sun, Mr Tsipras? Where’s the solidarity with rain-plagued EU politicians?”
The two men proceeded inside the Maximos Mansion, talked with each other for about an hour and came out to hold a jointed press conference.
PM Alexis Tsipras said among others:
– Post-bailout era has started. Internal devualation policy failed. For four years the people were experiencing the failure of the internal devaluation policy on daily basis.
We work together with our European counterparts in order to find a mutual solution.
EP President Martin Schulz took the floor and said:
“I rarely feel that I have had such an honest and constructive discussion as today,”
Sunday was an ‘unusual turning point’, lots still to be discussed
I am happy that the PM is determined to tackle tax evasion.
In Greece the very rich took their money abroad
We agreed on many points, others need “more discussion” Tsipras doesn’t want to “go it alone”
They probably said also other things as well, which I eventual missed as in a sudden attack of madness I had decided to order a hamburger along with crispy and noisy french fries to honor Brussels and its new hot potato.
“Pleased to meet you, hope you get my name…”
EU’s hot potato: Russia
I am certain however, that during the press conference, neither Tsipras not Schulz wasted an explicite word on the real hot potato on top of the EU’s agenda: the planned sanction against Russia over the Ukraine. They most likely talked about it, while they had their face to face meeting, behind closed doors. Then Martin Schulz had already told German media, that he was going to speak straight with Tsipras, teach him a lesson about “EU solidarity” and warn him that Greece cannot go its own way when it comes to Russia.
“Where is your tie, Mr Tsipras?”
Greek FM in Brussels
At the same time, while the rain was falling in Athens, new Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias was telling journalists in Brussels, that Greece is working to prevent a rift between the EU and Russia.
Video in Englishembedded by Embedded Video
28 EU-Foreign Ministers are getting together today, Thursday, in Brussels in an extraordinary meeting with Russia on their agenda.
A ‘rift’ between EU and new Greek government broke out on Tuesday, when the EU issued an allegedly “jointed statement by the EU leaders” asking for sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine, without previously consulting Greece.
FM Kotzias put is right though: the rift is not between the EU and Greece over Russia, but between the EU and Russia.
A heated discussion arose in the Greek and international media, on whether Greece would veto sanctions against Russia, with analysts prematurely wondering whether Greece would abandon the EU and partner with Putin.
Some international media went so far, to allege that FM Nikos Kotzias had ties with ultra-nationalists in Moscow.
Greek FM reacts to FT allegations
On Thursday, Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement dismissing as “groundless’” allegations published in Financial Times on Wednesday, claiming that FM Kotzias had “supposed relations with Russian professor A. Dugin.
Greek Foreign Ministry press releaseThursday, 29 January 2015
In a Financial Times article published on 28 January, reference is made to groundless claims regarding the existence of relations between Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Russian professor Aleksandr Dugin. The article mentions the false claim that Mr. Kotzias invited Mr. Dugin to an event at the University of Piraeus. As stated in a denial issued by the University of Piraeus itself, Mr. Kotzias never invited Mr. Dugin to the lecture in question and, contrary to claims made in the article, never traveled to Moscow to meet with him.
The article also falsely states that a relevant statement was requested from Mr. Kotzias, but that he would not provide one. Basic journalistic ethics require that the writers of the article should have crosschecked and confirmed before the publishing of this unfounded information, which, reproduced on the internet and through other news media, is creating inaccurate and unfounded impressions. (mfa.gr)
PS Why do I have the feeling that whatever Greece says and does is being always considered “wrong”, in the last 4.5 years of bailout agreements? Why do foreign politicians, our so-called EU-partners & Co and international media have to immediately start fiercely attacking Greece?
This is an observation I made in the last years, a phenomenon that has been repeating with steady persistence and this has little to do with SYRIZA’s 3-day-old government as it occurred many times with all the previous Greek governments from 2009 until today.