Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his predecessor Antonis Samaras met for the first time on Wednesday since SYRIZA’s large win over New Democracy in the January 25 general election.
Both men were invited to the Presidential Mansion by the outgoing head of state, Karolos Papoulias, for a lunch in honor of his successor, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is due to take up his new role on March 13.
Sources close to the president said there was a warm atmosphere at the lunch but that political issues were not discussed in great detail. Papoulias seems to have taken the initiative to invite Tsipras and Samaras to lunch, with Pavlopoulos’s approval, in a bid to ease the tension between the two men.
Since the elections, relations between the premier and the New Democracy leader have been frosty. This was highlighted by Samaras’s failure to be present at the Maximos Mansion to hand over to Tsipras after the latter formed the coalition. Samaras later claimed that he had not been informed the SYRIZA leader would be coming.