Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament was the first European leader to congratulate Alexis Tsipras on his resounding victory.
— EP President (@EP_President) September 20, 2015
But the congratulations were short-lived as the German social democrat turned to French radio to question Tsipras’ choice in coalition partners.
Schulz delved into Greek politics and questioned Tsipras’ choice of Panos Kammenos and his ultra-right wing, anti-bailout Independent Greeks party (ANEL).
“I called him (Tsipras) a second time to ask him why he was continuing a coalition with this strange, far-right party,” Schulz told French radio.
“He pretty much didn’t answer. He is very clever, especially by telephone. He told me things that seemed convincing, but which ultimately in my eyes are a little bizarre.”
Kammenos lashed out at Schulz in a statement today:
“Once again we express our sadness at Mr Schulz’s lack of respect for the institution that he serves with his interventions in the internal affairs of a country. Beyond insulting the Greek people and the party of Independent Greeks, he must, at last, understand that he cannot, without consequence, call any party that doesn’t take commissions from the defense industries that fund him “extreme right.”