Tsipras meeting with Steinmeier: We must work hard to resolve differences of the distant past
The visit of the German President Frank Walter Steinmeier will be the opportunity for a new start in Greek-German relations, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday at a meeting at Maximos Mansion.
Tsipras stressed the need to move on past the eight years of bailout memoranda and stereotypes on both sides which have poisoned the relations between Greece and Germany, and look to a future of equal cooperation.
At the same time, he said that the two EU partners should not ignore any differences arising from the distant past, which should “be resolved on the basis of international law, which we all respect” and work hard to limit extremist and populist voices in a shared European home.
Referring to the Prespes Agreement between Greece and FYROM, Tsipras he said that it is a “model of cooperation between two peoples that want to live peacefully without underestimating the history and the identity of each other. It is a courageous step that contributes to stability in the Balkans and thus in the wider region,” he added.
On his part, Steinmeier apologised for the Nazi atrocities in Greece. He explained that he does not want to forget the past nor to overlook the moral culpability of these atrocities and he agreed with Tsipras on a new beginning in Greek-German relations.
He also described Tsipras’ will to cooperate with FYROM on the name issue as “extremely courageous” and praised him for this effort.