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No joint statements followed the meeting between Tsipras and Pope Francis

18 September 2014 / 18:09:10  GRReporter
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The meeting between Pope Francis and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras lasted between 20 and 45 minutes, according to reports in various Greek media, and no joint statements or a photo followed it.  

According to unnamed sources, the Pope said during the discussion that in today's era societies suffer from a crisis of values ​​and stressed that it is inconceivable for states to save banks instead of people.

A little later, the following statement appeared on Alexis Tsipras’ Facebook profile: "Pope Francis, also called the "Pope of the poor", and I have different ideological bases, but we meet in terms of universal values ​​such as solidarity, the needs of neighbours and social justice."

During the meeting SYRIZA's leader said that "the dialogue between the left wing and the Christian Church will continue." Tsipras described before the Pope the situation in Greece that "is continuing to sink deeper into the crisis, which is about to become humanitarian. We need support from more powers in Europe to put an end to this policy."

The two men discussed the issue of immigration and shared the opinion that all necessary measures should be taken to prevent other deaths in the Mediterranean.

Pope Francis gave SYRIZA's leader a papal medal and the Apostolic Exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel." Tsipras in turn gave him an olive branch as a symbol of peace.

The meeting at the Vatican continued to be one of the most discussed events on the social networks.

"Because I do not see from here, tell me the colour of the smoke that is coming out of the Vatican - is it black or white?"

"But why is nobody saying "bravo" to the Pope for having invited illiterate children from poor countries to the Vatican?"

"Atheist both in Mount Athos/the Vatican and in terms of the drachma and the euro," are just some of the comments.

What has provoked the topical comments is the fact that for years, the Greek left wing had turned atheism into a major part of its ideology and its present leader has visited Mount Athos and the Vatican over the course of less than a month.

The oxymoron was presented in a very successful way by cartoonist Dimitris Hantzopoulos in "Ta Nea" newspaper. His version of the conversation between the Pope and Tsipras is as follows:
"-Alexis, if your visit to Mount Athos was a smart move, your visit to the Vatican is just brilliant.

- I think you are overstating.

- Not at all. You are the first leftist trader who thinks of buying "opium for the people", having researched the market."

Tags: PoliticsAlexis TsiprasSYRIZAthe VaticanPope FrancisMeeting
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