The level of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ aptitude in the English language has often been noted by observers, usually with more than a touch of sarcasm.
The problem is not only the prime minister’s accent and delivery, but the exceptionally poor English in texts that have been prepared by associates and that he reads from a teleprompter.
If first impressions count and little things can reveal much, then Tsipras’ videotaped address to the Capital Links Invest in Greece forum is at the very least a signal to the courted investors that a shoddiness prevails at the highest level of Greek government, the PM’s office.
The omission of articles is routine, but the statement is rife with grammatical and syntactical errors, such as repeated errors in number agreement.
The transcript of the nearly three-minute statement in which Alexis Tsipras addressed prospective investors follows.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
In the [sic] previous occasions that I had the honour to address this conference, I tried to communicate the strong commitment of our administration to put Greek economy back on track and to invite you to be part of our efforts.
Indeed, now I am in a position to say that Greek government [sic] and society efforts have given strong results.
Greek economy [sic] after a multitude [sic] of years in recession, has started to rise again, and the achievements are obvious.
A growth rate close to two percent is expected for 2017, and according to EU Commission estimations at the high [sic] of 2.5 percent for 2018.
Unemployment rate [sic] dropped significantly, by six percent since we came in [sic] office.
Foreign dark [presumably meaning direct] investments reached three billion in the first nine months of 2017, up by 69 percent as compared to the same period of 2016.
All this have [sic] led to an over-performance of our fiscal targets [sic]. This macroeconomic improvements [sic] were also translated into the strengthening of the Greek corporations’ healthiness [sic].
American investor are [sic] one of the larger, the largest contributors [sic] of foreign investments in Greece, so we expect that they will remain as such in light of investment opportunities, in order to make the most out of our country’s growth potential.
Our decision for the US to be the honoured country at Thessaloniki the national fair [sic] shows our determination to foster further the business ties of our countries.
In this respect, we are looking forward to welcome you [sic] in Thessaloniki on September [sic], 2018, to explore the upcoming investment opportunities in a business-friendly environment .
Before that, in the summer of 18 [sic], Greece will have exited the bailout programme.
In this regard, we are extremely focused on the next chapter of Greece, the upcoming era, beyond austerity and recession – an era of growth, investments, and of course prosperity.
So dear friends, the land of opportunity is having its gates [sic] wide open for highly profitable investments.
Greece is come back [sic], is here, Greece is come back, is here now, and is calling you to be part of it.