Rejection of Turkey, attack on Tsipras – in his election campaign for the European elections EPP candidate Weber did not save in clear words. He was well received by his audience in Athens.
By Michael Lehmann, ARD Studio Athens
The hot campaign phase of the CSU man and EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber started this afternoon in a rather dreary wine warehouse in the wine region of Nemea one and a half hours north of Athens – and she took off late in the evening in the Athenian magnificent Zappeion, where formerly also famous Olympia -Athletes came.
Weber presented here the election program of the EPP, the European conservative party family. There is no better place for this performance. When talking about democracy in Europe, everyone would immediately think of Greece, Weber said: "The Greeks invented democracy, they made it possible for us to live in a democratic European Union today." Weber's praise to the Greeks in general ended where reigning Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came into play. Weber called him a populist who had to be stopped: "Do not follow the populists, they will never deliver what they promised."
Weber's attacks on the Greek head of government were just as keen as Tsipras' counterattacks over party friends on the weekend: If anyone votes in Greece for the Nea Demokratia in the upcoming European elections, then that would be a vote in favor of the anti-Greeks weaver, Tsipras said. "The current candidate for the presidency of the European Commission wanted Greece to leave the Eurozone, giving the Conservatives and its voice a vote for a Europe of nationalism and discord, a neoliberalism and a Europe of technocrats of the Monetary Fund. "
What Weber presented in the electoral program of the EPP for the European elections in May was not only known to the conservative party friends in Zappeion, Athens. In Brussels, and thus throughout Europe, Weber's promises have been circulating for days: the promise to "fight even more resolutely against youth unemployment" or "to further contain migration through even more border protection". The announcement that plastic waste would be displaced as completely as possible worldwide was not heard for the first time in Athens.
Cancellation to Turkey
A murmur was heard in the heart of the Greek capital when Weber commented on the difficult relationship with Turkey for many Greeks: "Turkey can not become a member of the EU" – Weber said more clearly than others about what is very open in Athens Ears bumps. Weber, who also wants to succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, recommended that the European Union continue to speak intensively with Turkey. Like other prominent EU politicians, he promised to fight the bureaucracy in the big "administrative juggernaut" even stronger.
The reactions in the audience in the evening were clearly per Weber: "Manfred Weber is a European, he is a German, from a sibling party – he is the best for Europe," said a specially arrived from Thessaloniki entrepreneur.
The reactions of the left-wing members of the European Parliament are quite different: Syriza politician Dimitrios Papadimoulis is one of the vice-presidents of the European Parliament and combines his personal No to Weber with a look into the brainchildren of the German Chancellor: "In the next European Parliament will have a majority that says no to the candidacy of Mr Weber as President of the European Commission, and I feel that Angela Merkel, too, has stomachaches about Weber's candidacy. "