How is Donald Trump seen in Greece

Tsipras dons donation pants at Trump

The Greeks distribute money and jobs in the US

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is on a state visit to the United States of America. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump gave him a very friendly welcome in the White House. If someone had publicly predicted such a reception when Tsipra took office for the first time in January 2015, he would have met with disbelief everywhere, like the seer Kassandra in Homer's Iliad.

Even then, however, there were doubts about Tsipra's ideological stability as a leftist. Only they held back with their statements. Their doubts were triumphantly confirmed at the latest at the joint press conference by Tsipras and Trump. When asked how he felt about his previous attitude towards Trump, whom he had once described as the paragon of evil, Tsipras replied: "He can appear evil, but what he does, he does it for a good cause."

Tsipras, who as a prominent youth on the occasion of the state visit of US President Bill Clinton on November 17, 1999 demanded his imprisonment and conviction before an international court as a criminal against humanity, now emphasized to Trump: "We share the same values."

At that time, the current Greek Prime Minister, first as the leader of a student revolt and later as a left-wing ideologue, described the USA and capitalism as the greatest evil of humanity. He also campaigned for the preservation of Article 16 of the Greek Constitution. This prohibits private universities in Hellas. "Murderers of mankind! Americans!", Tsipras chanted together with his like-minded people at every opportunity.

Today he praised Trump for his vita as an entrepreneur and said that he was happy about the advice of the controversial US president. The flattered behaved differently than on the state visits of other European heads of government, such as the Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, jovial and hospitable. The body language between the two showed a warmth that was celebrated by the commentators on the Greek state broadcaster ERT. Several times they pointed out how neglected and dismissive Trump had behaved towards the Chancellor and how often he had offended her.

Trump had a good reason to be happy, which he mentioned several times. The US head of state thanked for an order volume of almost 2.4 to 2.6 billion dollars for the modernization of the Greek Lockheed F-16 fighter jets. This would help Tsipras to create jobs in the US. Trump found it worth mentioning that Greece would be one of the few NATO partners to afford the necessary expenditures for armaments products and the military. The deal is not planned, Trump was nailing it. On Monday he had the armaments sale approved. At the press conference, he implored that it would not be a planned, but a concluded contract.

Tsipras, who himself sat in the copilot's chair of an F-16 during a PR campaign for a live broadcast on television a week ago and had himself filmed during take-off and landing, apparently only has the number from his previous life as a leftist 16 retained.

"I never felt threatened," Tsipras said at the press conference to dispel any doubts that Trump was a nice guy. The Greek prime minister sees fertile ground for close cooperation with Trump.

This also responded to the questions to Tsipras. He mentioned that some international politicians appeared to have become nervous about his election. However, he would now ensure that "the USA is no longer exploited by others". Although he briefly commented on the news that Tsipras had previously seen him as the bad guy, "I didn't know that before my speech," Trump maintained his composure. As friendly as Trump was towards Tsipras, he did not respond to his repeated mention of airspace violations by NATO partner and archenemy Turkey.

Agreement on the expansion of US military bases

Trump praised Greece for the reform progress and recommended that the Europeans finally solve the debt issue. He was happy about Tsipras' invitation to Athens, where according to the Greek he was "welcome by all Greeks", and did not forget to mention what a great holiday destination Hellas was.

Tsipras emphasized several times how many supporters Trump had within the ethnic group of Greeks who emigrated to the USA, and how many Greeks in Hellas would see him benevolently. He did not mention that the far-right Golden Dawn is one of the most ardent admirers of the US president.

Both heads of government also announced agreement on the expansion of American military bases in Greece. The Souda base on Crete is to be significantly upgraded. In future it will serve as a base for unmanned bombers. From here, the drones can then easily attack targets on the Arabian Peninsula, but also in Africa. Trump stated that Souda would play a large role in his strategic planning in the war against the Islamic State.

The Greek delegation, including Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Telecommunications Minister Nikos Pappas, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, Economics Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou and State Minister Terence Spencer Kouik, was presented on state television with satisfied and happy faces. In Athens itself, the result of the visit caused horror among the opposition, primarily because of the cost of modernizing the aircraft, but also because of Tsipra's obvious delight in Trump's company. Finally, on the occasion of the third inspection of the third Troika loan package for the country, pension cuts and tax increases are due again.

Malicious comments on social networks now saw Greece as a target for IS terrorist attacks. Humorous contemporaries, on the other hand, believed that the Troika might one day be useful and should prohibit the purchase of weapons. (Wassilis Aswestopoulos)

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