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Alexis Tsipras: Greek Colossus Battling EU Dwarves

Alexis Tsipras: Greek Colossus battling EU Dwarves
The results of the Greek referendum on EU austerity measures came as a moment of truth for country’s unruffled Prime-Minister Alexis Tsipras.

A week after July, 5 Greek referendum with more than 60% of voters saying “no” to the package of highly unpopular belt-tightening measures proposed by international creditors, flamboyant Greek premier is one of the most quoted and debated world leaders. Some call him a populist who is playing with the future of his own country by sticking to the policy that can force Greece to a divorce with the “European family” of nations. Others argue that he is challenging not Europe, but European bureaucracy which is slow, inefficient, obsessed with obsolete approaches and irresponsive to the mounting problems of the Greek economy.

Mr. Tsipras himself made the debate on Greece even more heated and politically charged addressing European Parliament in Strasbourg. Greece is desperate for a support outside, he said, adding:  “The money that was given to Greece never went to the people. The money was given to save Greek and European banks”. In his passionate speech he tried to trigger Pan-European debate on where Europe is heading, hinting that it was not just a Greek crisis, but a European problem.

While some applauded him, others denounced his remarks as dangerous inflammatory rhetoric.  Here is what one of his opponents, the president of the conservative European People’s Party, Manfred Weber said: “Do not lie”. According to Mr. Weber, debt reduction, if agreed upon, would not hurt bankers “but nurses in Slovakia and civil servants in Finland”.

Vladimir Sotnikov, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Security, Institute of World Economy and International Relations (studio guest), Gleb Ivashentsov, Russia's former Ambassador to South Korea and Myanmar (studio guest), Photis Lysandrou, Professor at the City Political Economy Research Centre, Dr. Vasiliki Tsagkroni, Research Associate at Keele University and representative of the Greek Politics Specialist Group of PSA and Dr. Stella Ladi, member of the executive committee of the Greek politics specialist group and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London commented on the issue.

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