Frans Timmermans, the European Socialists‘ lead candidate (Spitzenkandidat) for the presidency of the European Commission has been in Athens since Sunday, attending the Movement for Change (KINAL) party conference and meeting with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras.
Speaking at the KINAL conference on Sunday, Timmermans stated that ”whatever differences we might have inside our family, these differences are nothing compared to the ravages the Right wants to visit in our society, and we will not let them do that.”
Timmermans made an official visit to the Greek Premier at Athens’ Maximos Mansion on Monday.
Tsipras welcomed the Spitzenkandidat saying that the next European elections may well be the most crucial so far for the future of Europe.
The prime minister wished Timmermans good luck in his campaign. He further stated that “the rise of the far-right creates difficulties for our common future,” referring to the rhetoric of nationalism and racism used by extremists across the EU.
Tsipras also said that the neo-liberal economic policies followed in Europe are the reason why the forces of extremism are growing; a prerequisite for dealing with them is a broad progressive front.
“Progressive forces in Europe must work together to create a front against the far-right,” Tsipras stated, pointing out that there should be a positive response to cooperation between Socialist and left-wing forces in Europe.
On his behalf, Timmermans expressed his support for the ending of austerity in Greece, increasing investments and creating a fairer tax system.
Frans Timmermans, whose full name is Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Maria Timmermans, is a Dutch politician who currently serves as First Vice-President of the European Commission.
He was chosen by the Party of European Socialists to become the lead candidate for the European Commission’s presidency in the upcoming European elections in May.
With information from AMNA