The head of Greece’s main opposition party committed a serious error in judgment yesterday by refusing to attend the official ceremony for Greece’s assumption of the EU presidency.
Whether he likes it or not, SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras has an institutional role to play and he must respect that position, especially given how often he has said he wants to be an active participant in the European Union and to try and influence its policies from within.
The stance assumed by the leftist leader is, unfortunately, similar to that adopted by other political leaders in Greece and the only result it has is further undermining the country’s status and boosting the forces of anti-European populism.
At the end of the day, the gala for the assumption of the presidency was organized in order to showcase Greece as a whole, not Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the coalition government. And in this respect, Tsipras, as well as others who brushed off the importance of the occasion, should have been there.