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Tsipras - stubborn and unprepared in Davos

22 January 2016 / 13:01:14  GRReporter
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ unconvincing performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos provoked not very pleasant comments in the Greek, but even more so, in the foreign press.

In an article entitled "How Alexis Tsipras became a laughing stock in Davos," the German daily Die Welt points out that the Greek Prime Minister has discredited himself with his minimum knowledge in economics. In the subheading, the newspaper criticizes his decision to confront German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who repulsed the attack with a skilful defence.

The author of the article states: "Tsipras is doing nothing to win trust (...) He is repeating the battles of the past, implying that he is not especially aware of economy (...) For example, he does not understand the fundamental link between competitiveness, wages and productivity (...) He is just a stubborn prime minister who has not understood the seriousness of the situation (...) Therefore, he has received such a bill: Greek bonds have soared to 10.4% - the highest level since August last year. The previous evening he became a laughing stock in Davos, stating for the Bloomberg agency that the Greek economy would amaze the world. The surprise in Davos was rather negative."

The publication also stresses that Alexis Tsipras called again for European solidarity, but "the only thing that he meant was more money for his excessively indebted country."

The presentation of the Greek Prime Minister was in a common panel with Germany’s Finance Minister and the Prime Ministers of France Manuel Valls and the Netherlands Mark Rutte.

During the discussion, Wolfgang Schaeuble referred to the agreement between Greece and its creditors with the words "there are commitments that are not respected." He ended his speech with the phrase "it’s the implementation, stupid" - a metaphor of the main slogan of Bill Clinton’s first election campaign in the US in the 1990s "It’s the economy, stupid".

"We have to help each country that cannot solve its problems. We did so in conjunction with the European crisis (...) In Europe, solidarity is expressed in doing what we can to make it stronger. And it starts with complying with the agreements that have been reached with difficulties (...) If we want a stronger Europe, we must respect what we have agreed on," said Schaeuble, adding the impressive expression.

Although he did not explicitly refer to the Greek Prime Minister, it was clear that the phrase was intended for him.

At the end of the discussion, Tsipras and Schaeuble greeted each other and exchanged a few words. According to the government sources in Athens, the words of Germany’s Finance Minister were not aimed directly at Alexis Tsipras but were "a figure of speech."

Tags: Politics World Economic Forum in DavosAlexis TsiprasWolfgang SchaeubleIt's the implementation stupid
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