Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Alexis Tsipras's Latin American Christmas

Posted by  GRReporter
 Leader of the main opposition party Alexis Tsipras has not been in Greece for several days now. For a period of nearly two weeks, he will be visiting Brazil and Argentina. The delegation also includes one of the chief economic policy coordinators for SYRIZA, Yannis Dragasakis, MEP Nikos Houndis and other leading figures of the coalition.
According to commentators, Alexis Tsipras's efforts to establish a European profile and open channels of communication with senior representatives of the European Union are facing obstacles, while, on the other hand, he is very popular in Latin America.

The invitation for his visit to Brazil was made by the ruling Workers' Party. SYRIZA leader departed from Greece with the intention to change the position of the Brazilian government. He has even submitted a formal request to meet with representative of the International Monetary Fund for the country Paulo Nogueira Batista, as well as with President Dilma Rousseff.
Despite his intentions, Alexis Tsipras only managed to meet with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the meeting could hardly be considered particularly productive for the left coalition. Former President of Brazil sent a message of encouragement to the Greek people, without referring to SYRIZA or Alexis Tsipras at all.
As for Argentina, things are much more complicated, since comparison with Greece creates associations with the crisis, collapse and chaos in the Latin American country's society after 2001. Some time ago, Alexis Tsipras shouted in Parliament: "It would have been good if we had turned into Argentina", but lately SYRIZA, with the exception of the far-left groups in the coalition, has been avoiding using this example.
In Buenos Aires, Alexis Tsipras will try to meet with Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner, and the delegation travelling with him - with President of the Central Bank Mercedes Marco del Pont.
During his stay, SYRIZA leader will deliver a speech to members of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences CLASCO, which is one of the most influential think tanks of the South American continent.
According to sources, Alexis Tsipras's journey is held in coordination with the Greek Foreign Ministry.
Ordinary Greeks do not seem particularly impressed by the trip of the opposition leader to Brazil and Argentina. In social media, however, reactions are a lot and routine. The majority of users do not expect anything substantial and define the visit as travelling for the Christmas and New Year Holidays.

Photo collages in which Alexis Tsipras is depicted as the memorial of Christ in Rio de Janeiro alternate with humorous comments like: "besides returning the remunerations of the past, Alexis will bring Brazilian women in Greece."
"Tsipras is still in Latin America. Indeed! Eventually, he won't return Greece to the drachma, but we will enter the Peso-zone. "
"Alexis Tsipras is looking for new partners in Latin America. To justify his Christmas trip, he will not hesitate to ally even with the Incas and Mayans."
Especially critical are those who criticise his friendly relations with President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, with whom, however, Alexis Tsipras will not meet during this visit.

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