In Paris and Rome, it was sugar coated; in Berlin and Frankfurt unequivocal. But the message from European capitals to Greece’s new leaders was the same at every stop on last week’s tour – stick to your commitments.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will head to his first European summit on Thursday duly warned that it will be near impossible, as Athens wants, to rip up pledges made during the country’s four-year international bailout. Tsipras and his aides were also advised to learn the ways of diplomatic custom.
“Friendship requires telling things as they are,” French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told Reuters after meeting his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis last Sunday. “We must avoid misunderstandings and make sure all, and especially the Greek side, understand how things are.”