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Tsipras -Tsavusoglou: A meeting that never was

Featured Tsipras -Tsavusoglou: A meeting that never was

The choice of Prime Minister Tsipras to cancel his meeting with the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister who is officially visiting Greece has raised eyebrows and caused concerns.

The meeting was scheduled to take place on Thursday at the PM's office at the Maximos Mansion, but Alexis Tsipras insisted on strictly adhering to protocol, with the result that Hakan Tsavusoglou, before leaving for a trip to Thrace, discussd all Greek-Turkish issues with his "counterpart" government vice-president Yannis Dragasakis.

Since the reasons that led Alexis Tsipras to this choice have not been disclosed, one can only guess that it may have had to do with developments that took place yesterday, and Mr. Hakan Tsavousoglou, himself.

There was the issue of the violations that occurred yesterday in the Aegean Sea, the day of the official Tsavousoglou visit to Athens. Mostly, however, there was the official Turkish protest for the Greek-Egyptian exercise in Rhodes, because - as they claimed - the law was violated, as Rhodes under the Treaty of Paris (1947) is a demilitarized island.

In addition, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister claims that his origins are from Greece and in particular from Thrace where he lived, hence he speaks Greek fluently. Last September, he argued that the Turkish health system could also cover Muslim minority members in Thrace and Bulgaria if the two countries do not have "feelings of inferiority" as he said.

These issues caused negative feelings in Athens and Greek public opinion. Yet - as in the past - the two sides are in agreement that this visit by a Turkish high official to Thrace will roll out like the previous ones and not become a fiesta with featuring figures of the Muslim minority.

Today (Friday) Tsavousoglou is touring in Xanthi and Komotini and everyone in Athens is hopeing that everything will go without any unexpected incidents.