New European Parliament President Says He’s an Admirer of Greek Civilization



Antonio Tajani, the new European Parliament President, has stated in the past that he is an avid admirer of ancient Greek Civilization and speaks ancient Greek.

The Italian conservative politician and member of the European People’s Party won Tuesday’s election for the presidency of the European Parliament after four ballots.

Tajani won the fourth ballot with 351 votes in a final face-off with Gianni Pittella, an Italian Social Democrat who received 282 votes. The total number of votes was 713, as there were 80 abstentions. No candidate won the required absolute majority of valid votes cast in the first three rounds of voting.

The new president will serve for 2.5 years and according to analysts, Greece is likely to have an ally for that period, or at least an admirer of Greek philosophy. The mother of the Roman politician was a professor of classical studies.

In 2013, as Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship in the second Jose Manuel Barroso EU presidency, Tajani had visited Athens. Speaking to industry representatives, the Italian politician had stated that if it wasn’t for Greece, “we would be barbarians or pagans.” He closed his speech saying “Long live Greece” and repeated three times the phrase “We are all Greeks.”