While Berlin and Washington swiped Ukraine away from Russia, Russia installed one of their own in Athens.
Matter of fact, the German government was likely not ‘stunned’ by Tsipras’ victory, but more or less is playing politics by downplaying the predicted aftermath. The Merkel leadership isn’t filled with rookie politicians. Germany dropped many hints that the EU could go on without Greece on more than one occasion, which aimed to deaden the anticipated blow that happened in last Sunday’s elections.
It would also be interesting know what “orders from abroad” Tsipras was referring to. That could be this ‘former’ Communist’s subtle hint at orders from Moscow.
Berlin: In his first act as Prime Minister on Monday, Alexis Tsipras visited the war memorial in Kaisariani where 200 Greek resistance fighters were slaughtered by the Nazis in 1944.
The move did not go unnoticed in Berlin. Nor did Tsipras’s decision hours later to receive the Russian ambassador before meeting any other foreign official.
“No doubt about it, we were surprised by the size of the Syriza victory and the speed with which Tsipras clinched a coalition,” said one senior German official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Marcel Fratzscher, head of the DIW economic institute in Berlin and a former official at the European Central Bank, said Tsipras was playing a “very dangerous game” by coming out with all guns blazing.
“If people start to believe that he is really serious, you could have massive capital flight and a bank run,” Fratzscher said. “You are quickly at a point where a euro exit becomes more possible.”
The other major area of concern for Germany is a new Greek government’s stance on Russia.
Tsipras’s meeting on Monday with the Russian ambassador, who handed over a personal letter of congratulations from Vladimir Putin, and the new Greek leader’s howls of protest at the EU statement on Ukraine, have raised questions about whether the bloc’s fragile consensus towards Moscow can hold.
Only days before the vote, Tsipras told thousands of people at a campaign rally in Athens: “On Monday, our national humiliation will be over. We will finish with orders from abroad.”
In the background loudspeakers blared lyrics from the Leonard Cohen song “First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin”.
Full article: Germans in Shock as New Greek Leader Starts With a Bang (NDTV)