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Investor laughter and Mr. Tsipras

28 September 2015 / 17:09:33  GRReporter
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A week after winning the second parliamentary elections 2015 in Greece, Alexis Tsipras left for New York to take part in the UN extraordinary meeting on the sustainable development goals by 2030.

Within his visit, he took part in the 10th Annual Conference of the Clinton Global Initiative and held talks with former US President Bill Clinton, in the presence of a selected audience of politicians and international investors. The Greek analysts comment on his performance, defining it as disastrous and the majority of them pay attention to Alexis Tsipras’ poor English proficiency. Others, however, consider a more significant weak point to be the total inability of the Greek Prime Minister to respond to the requirements of the specific audience.

Journalist Paschos Mandravelis describes the course of the critical discussion for the economic development of Greece in his analysis in the Greek daily Kathimerini.

Among other things, there was the laughter of present opinion makers such as politicians, investors and individuals... Mr. Alexis Tsipras was tragic during his conversation with Bill Clinton within the context of the 10th conference of the Clinton Global Initiative that took place on Sunday (09/27/2015).

He was embarrassed and totally unable to answer the specific questions that the former US President asked him. He lightly passed the questions to the Greek Prime Minister so that he "scores." "If I am having a dinner with people who love Greece and would like to invest there, where would you like me to recommend them to invest? Do you have a wish list of desirable investments?" Clinton asked and the Greek Prime Minister muttered something unclear about the investors who were present (some argue that the total wealth of the people who heard, and laughed with, Mr. Tsipras at the Sheraton Hotel in New York exceeds 100 billion euro). What could he tell them? Could he tell them about the initiatives of Mr. Skourletis (former and current Minister of Environment and Energy - editor’s note) regarding the exploitation of the gold mines in Halkidiki or about SYRIZA’s opposition to each and every investment in Greece?

Mr. Tsipras’ far from perfect English was not his major shortcoming. The main problem was that he did not feel at ease and for the first time he had to speak seriously about the economic outlook of Greece, without slogans and pompous expressions. And he replied in a slipshod manner, as he did during his speech in Larissa. A little wine, a little sea*, and the boys and girls who are Greece’s greatest resource. The main problem of Mr. Tsipras and SYRIZA in general is that they do not know the international environment in which Greece has to move. This is apparent from the disastrous negotiations that lasted seven months and the many and continuing statements of Ministers for a return to models that are outdated in all spheres.

On the eve of elections in January, I wrote that "tomorrow the Greeks will probably elect the first prime minister of the era after the restoration of democratic order in the country who has never lived abroad. Fortunately, with his progress in learning English Mr. Tsipras showed he is a quick learner. Let us hope that he will succeed equally quickly to fill the gaps in terms of history, which he probably has because of his involvement in school occupations while he was a student. Nobody however should forget, "I had so much to do outside. When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed! But I never heard the builders, not a sound. Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world. "(Constantine P. Cavafy, Walls).

Yesterday Greece received another flat refusal from abroad. The laughter of the audience to the obvious embarrassment of Mr. Tsipras to answer might have been mocking or it might have as well been compassionate. But in both cases, after this performance no one would think to invest in Greece.

* Game of words with a popular Greek song (editor’s note).

You can watch the video of the discussion below:

Tags: PoliticsAlexis TsiprasBill ClintonClinton Global InitiativeDiscussionInvestors
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