Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday (20 June) that he fully trusts Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras, after Manfred Weber said Tsipras “belongs to the past”.
Just a few days after a much-awaited Eurogroup deal on the second assessment of the Greek bailout programme, CSU lawmaker Manfred Weber, the German head of the European People’s Party, lashed out at the leftist Greek government, singling out Alexis Tsipras.
Weber met yesterday in Athens with the leader of the main opposition center-right New Democracy party [EPP] Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“We need a reliable government that will do good work for Greece. This is not the case today. This is why I believe that Mr Tsipras belongs to the past while Mr Mitsotakis represents the future,” Greek media quoted Weber as saying.
The German MEP stressed that New Democracy and its leader are major players in the EPP family. “They work a lot with us on an EU level, under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker,” Weber emphasised, adding that the Greek right-wing party contributes significantly to political progress in Europe.
Speaking to Euro2Day.gr, EURACTIV Greece’s media partner, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker commented, “I fully trust Alexis Tsipras, this is clear.”
“Greece has performed much better than we expected. I recognise the major efforts of the Greek government […] as for my personal relation with Mr Tsipras, there is comfort, appreciation and trust.”
Need for an EU federation
In the meantime, Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos warned yesterday that the EU is close to a collapse unless it takes the necessary federalist leap.
“The break-up of the eurozone followed by the European Union will be an automatic development unless full unification is achieved, in the form of a federal governance under the institutional conditions of representative democracy,” Pavlopoulos noted.
Pavlopoulos belongs to the center-right New Democracy party; however, Tsipras recommended he be appointed Greece’s president, a move that analysts interpreted as an attempt to divide the center-right party.
Mitsotakis was the only New Democracy lawmaker who had not voted in favor of Pavlopoulos during the parliamentary vote.
Pavlopoulos continued, saying that the survival of the EU and the eurozone depend not only on economic and monetary progress but above all “on the strength of the institutions of the European construction”.
The Greek official also criticised the Eurogroup of “institutional obscurity” and emphasised that Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, also shares this view.