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  • Editorial: What Mitsotakis gained from Merkel

    It was known in advance that the looming issue of lowering Greece’s primary surplus requirements would not be at the top of the agenda.

    There can be no doubt that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speak the same language.

    In that sense, the communication between the two leaders was more constructive than in the beginning of the Tsipras administration.

    Yet, beyond the significant element of interpersonal relations national interests prevail in relations between states.

    The government’s satisfaction about the result of the talks suggests that its expectations were largely met.

    It was known in advance that the looming issue of lowering Greece’s primary surplus requirements would not be at the top of the agenda.

    The PM has decided to postpone that campaign demand so that that he can first lay out his reform agenda as campaign pledges are not always the best advisor.

    As regards the substance, one discerned a German interest in investing in renewable energy sources and recycling.
    It appears that this time, however, there is a will to pursue the plan – which hd been announced in the past but got caught up in the trying condittions produced by Greece’s economic crisis – and to make it succeed.

    Regarding the migration-refugee issue that has bedeviled Greece the two leaders expressed agreement on the way to handle it.

    Nonetheless, beyond the agreement in principle about changing the current European framework on migration and establishing a more just distribution of migrants throughout the EU, for the time being there is no broader agreement to help Greece confront the repercussions of the refugee crisis.

    It is clear that Mr. Mitsotakis has adopted a step-by-step strategy in approaching top European leaders.

    He is not immediately pursuing aims that he knows will be exceptionally difficult to achieve but instead he prefers first to prove that the government has the will and capability to put Greece back on a track of stable and viable development.

    Until now Mr. Mitsotakis has persuaded his foreign interlocutors that he can achieve this as was evidence in Chancellor Merkel’s warm reception and smiles.

    Time will tell whether those smiles will translate into greater German support in the handling of the looming issues of Greece’s debt and primary surplus requirements.

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