Defenders called it nerves and jet lag, while others said Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras didn’t have a handle of English well enough to be on such a global platform as the Clinton Global Initiative stage on September 28, 2015 with a former U.S. President.
Detractors had a field day in Greece and beyond as Tsipras half-hour conversation with Clinton was the talk of the Greek internet. Tsipras was ridiculed for not knowing simple facts about his country.
Greek English-language daily newspaper Kathimerini called Tsipras’ presentation a “missed opportunity” in an editorial.
Other commentators weren’t so diplomatic. Numerous memes circulated the internet poking fun at Tsipras’ English skills and fumbled answers to Clinton’s questions.
Twitter wasn’t kind either, with a hashtag #agglika_tsipra (Tsiptas’ English) going viral during the town hall conversation and even trending #1 of all Clinton Global Initiative tweets during the meeting.
Videos of Tsipras attempting to answer in English were also spliced together and made their rounds on the internet.
The complete half hour talk between Clinton and Tsipras is here: