President Karolos Papoulias congratulated SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday on being nominated over the weekend as the European Left’s candidate for European Commission president.
But, at the same time, New Democracy slammed Tsipras over his candidacy.
Papoulias told Tsipras during a meeting at the Presidential Mansion in Athens that his nomination was a “personal success” but that the European Left, especially the German leftist party Die Linke, was “a force” within European politics.
“I hope that, as far as possible, my candidacy can help improve the country’s negotiating power and restore [Greece’s] image,” said Tsipras.
A little earlier, New Democracy spokesperson Anna Asimakopoulou complained that the SYRIZA leader had not responded to questions about him singing the Italian labor movement song “Bandiera Rossa,” which ends with the line “long live communism and freedom,” at the end of the European Left’s congress on Sunday.
Asimakopoulou accused Tsipras of singing the song with “comrades from Europe’s marginalized Stalinist parties.”