Athens, March 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The Council of Political Leaders, under the President of the Republic, which was held on Friday and lasted for over eight hours, served to strenghten the position of Alexis Tsipras inside the country. The agreement reached after the Council’s conclusion, but also the parties’ reactions after the signing of the joint communiqué, highlighted the Greek Prime as the informal winner.
Alexis Tsipras passed his own agenda for the refugee crisis and forced the others to follow him. The efforts of both Vasislis Leventis and Fofi Gennimata to change the topic of discussion fell on deaf ears and exposed them to the public.
The meeting at the Presidential Palace confirmed the dominance of SYRIZA-ANEL government and Alexis Tsipras in particular. Despite the efforts of domestic media to try to diversify the outcome of the meeting, reality is relentless.
In the joint communiqué, which was not signed by KKE and the Union of Centrists, the fixed positions of the government for the refugee crisis, passed almost without a fuss. Not only in dealing with the refugee crisis internally, but also with regard to Greece’s demands from the EU.
The Communication that was adopted does not differ in the slightest to the last speeches of Alexis Tsipras for the refugee crisis, and if this is not a victory of the Prime Minister then what would constitute as victory?
The reactions of other parties were limited to past tense for the actions of the government and the failure to address the crisis. Repeated criticism that has grown tiresom, without giving proposals for a solution to the issue.
Though inside the country A. Tsipras managed to get the green light for his course of action from here onwards on the refugee crisis, what remains is to win what he can at the EU summit to be held on Monday.
Brussels not only have to address some of the countries that oppose the settlement of refugees in their territory, there is also Turkey which will try to reap as many benefits as possible from an agreement for the reduction of refugee flows to Greece and Europe. And quite possibly the Turkish demands may be on the other side of Greek interests; a situation the Greek Premier must handle at a time when there are many issues of common interest and there is an attempt at a diplomatic level to find solutions.
In the summit, both for Greece and for the other parties involved, Turkey and the EU, a solution must be found. What’s more, Greece and the EU also have the financial crisis that continues to plague the continent to deal with, as well as the rise of the far-right. On its part, Turkey also has many open fronts and is asked to close some of them, such as the refugee issue, always with profit in mind.
Tsipras and Davutoglu have invested much in this summit, as it will pave the way for further cooperation that will “lock” in the G2G on Tuesday in Izmir between the two governments. A possible failure in the talks on Monday will impact the efforts to mitigate the differences between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
The success of the conference will ensure in part the required conditions for the normalisation of the situation regarding the refugee flow to Europe and allow the EU to focus on trying to find solutions to the conflict in Syria.