The leader of the main opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, was in Lisbon on Friday for an official visit aimed at expressing solidarity with Portugal where the government has also imposed tough economic measures in exchange for foreign rescue loans and as part of the leftist leader’s broader drive to forge an anti-austerity front in southern Europe.
Tsipras joined an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon on Friday and met with Portugal’s Socialist Party General Secretary Antonio Jose Seguro. After his talks, Tsipras said it was becoming increasingly clear that austerity policies being implemented across southern Europe are not working. «Most forces in the European south are observing that the memorandum is a deadlock and that such policies will not help the countries of the European south to emerge from the crisis,» Tsipras said.
Despite certain differences in talks with Seguro, Tsipras said the two leaders agreed to have an «open dialogue» in a bid to find a viable solution for emerging from the crisis. «It is one thing when a country must face 16 others and quite another thing when a group of countries unite and face the others together,» Tsipras said, referring to the 17 member states of the eurozone.
The leftist leader added that Portugal as well as Spain was facing a humanitarian crisis, though not to the degree that Greece is.