WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

Alexis Tsipras World Economic Forum 2016 Davos

The Greek Premier, Alexis Tsipras, tries to protect himself from the Alpine cold on his way out of the airplane in Davos. Certainly he got this time really more than he could chew. The ‘shivering’ photo was shared by his Athens cabinet.

Here in Davos, while the second day already slips away, it was time for Europe to get under the spotlight of the richest people in the world attending the World Economic Forum. The “EU has become a microcosm of the world’s issues”, Robin Niblet, the moderator of yesterday’s morning panel discussion early underpinned.

Yesterday morning’s session, called “the future of Europe”, apart from the moderator who is the Director of Chatham House, hosted a number of EU leaders too. French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, the infamous German minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schaueble and the powerful Italian business woman, President of BUSINESSEUROPE, Emma Marcegaglia, were all there to ensure a stimulating dialogue on the future of Europe.

Manuel Valls

The French Premier talked mostly about the need for European coordination against terrorism. “Terrorism must bring Europe together.”…”It is not just Paris that was stricken. In the past terrorism attacks have taken place in London, Denmark, Madrid”.  “We are at war, world war, global war!”, the French Prime Minister cried out. Mr Valls mentioned the word war quite a few times indeed: “We will have to live for many years with terrorism, decades… that is why it is a war”.

For the French politician the solution to great problems lately like terrorism, security and the migration crisis is located in pursuing more Europe rather than less Europe.

Particularly, concerning the migration problem, he said “we cannot abandon Africa to terrorism. We have a total disorganisation… We also have this flow from Libya into Europe… We have to have the means to intervene: diplomacy, acting together… from the north to the south… The crisis in Syria does not only concern the mediterraneam countries, but everyone”.

Concerning the European economy, France supports a coherent united Europe with a liberalisation of the common market in digital and energy to create jobs and prosperity in the block.

Referring to the Greek crisis, he said: “It would be a historic mortal mistake to let Greece out of the Eurozone.” Similarly he described the event of a Brexit a “tragedy”.

“We need more Europe. Europe should be more united”, was the main message of Manuel Valls in Davos this year.

Mark Rutte

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, whose country currently holds the Presidency of the European Council, mainly spoke about the migrant crisis and how the EU needs to agree on a coordinated solution to stop the influx, before the migrant number”quadruples” during Spring  and Summer in the Mediterranean sea. Topics like the EU-Turkey cooperation, the success of hotspots in Greece and Italy as well as the relocation procedures would be a vital part of the talks during the much anticipated February EU Council.

The salvation of the Schengen is for the Dutch politician a major point of discussion. His cynical view on the matter goes like that: “Before we kill Schengen, we need to reform Dublin system”. He later continued by saying: “We can save Schengen if we get a grip in the next 6 to 8 weeks”.

Concerning the sluggishness of the European economy, Mr Rutte was openly in favour of opening up the EU common market in every possible way: “Strange situation talking about a European common market… 35% of the European economy is a common market… What we will try to do is to liberate the digital, services directive, open up professions that are protected in many countries and are an impediment to growth and success. 1.5 trillion euro will come to Europe after this liberalisation of the 65% remaining market”.

Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras, the rookie of Davos, who would have never dreamt about sitting a panel discussion at the majestic Congress Hall of the Davos Congress Centre, gave a “Greek style” speech.  His arrival to Davos came post his humiliation during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) last September, the wanna be competitor of WEF at the other side of the Atlantic, where Bill Clinton hammered him for his bad English and his poor knowledge not only about the world affairs and stakes but even about his own country.

To begin with, he chose to speak in Greek, not really to promote the Greek language to humanity but mostly because this Prime Minister speaks an elementary school level of English.

With his decision to speak in his mother tongue, he forced the organiser to hire the only Greek translator in Davos, as it is well known that Greece is almost always absent from Davos, with typically having anything from 1 to 0 participants. This clearly shows how Greece is considered of nano value in the world’s state of affairs and signifies how Mr Tsipras was not too well fitting here.

In fact, Mr Tsipras spoke to the top level public of Davos as if he was talking to his Syriza comrades at the Greek parliament, failing terribly to empathise with the stakes of the game. To a certain extent, his total inexperience can justify that.

The leftist Premier, who lately moves more and more to the centre because he likes his job too much, implementing harsh conservative structural reforms on his country, from the first moment denied any responsibility in the escalation of the migrant crisis at his Greek seas. Instead, he repeated an easy political artifice, underscoring how the problem is not just Greek but a “European” or “PanEuropean” or even “global” one, as he stated. Although his sayings are really an obvious common sense, he rather vaguely addressed the issue, possibly due to lack of knowledge, talking about how Europe has to find a commonly coordinated mechanism to solve the problem.

Coming to the hot issue of the Greek crisis, which by the way is not a hot issue any more and nobody truly cares about it so much rather than the Greek ambitious politicians, the Greek media and the Greek pensioner who is living in dear poverty, Mr Tsipras again did not say a lot either. Possibly he does not know or he does not have the necessary advisors around him to tell him that he cannot repeat the same agenda and the same arguments whenever he is given the microphone.

If someone pays attention to Mr Tsipras’s argumentation in the past 12 months, and even that is even questionable to a certain extent, she will notice that it has always been about Greece suffering 25% loss of the GDP, unemployment rates skyrocketing to 25%, how Greece needs growth (“not just balanced budgets”), the bad kleptocracy of the past and so on. Nothing is new in the Greek Premier’s agenda, and nothing is anticipated to be new actually, not just because of his inexperience but mainly because the Greeks seem to be living in a parallel sunny – funny planet with its own small size and understanding.

At the end of his void speech, Mr Tsipras copied the populist void phrase that is being spread at the EU Councils in Brussels and was expressed also by the French Premier previously: “We need more Europe”.

Wolfgang Schaueble

The biggest worry of the infamous German politician is clearly the migrant crisis. Replying to Niblet’s question about how much more can Germany stand the influx, he plainly said: “the question of how long we can cope with such an inflow of this magnitude I dont want to reply to”. He later continued: “We agree the inflow is too high. We have to concentrate on how to revert this situation. We need to invest billions to reduce the pressure on the external frontiers”.

The rest of his speech was mainly about the perennial beliefs of Mr Schaeuble that the EU institutions need to steal more power and sovereignty from the national parliaments, how the member states need to follow ECB’s rules and EU treaties to the letter and how “every European country has to solve its problem”.

His most interesting remark though came out after a question from the public about a new Marshall plan in Europe to face the migrant crisis. It went like this: “we don’t need the Marshall plan for Europe, only for the regions that have been destroyed. We need something similar. Billions of euros into the countries of origin of the refugees.”

Emma Marcegaglia

The powerful lady of the panel, Chairman of Eni and President of BUSINESSEUROPE, Europe’s most powerful lobby business association, reiterated her points about a united Europe that will forge a clear competitive investment and business strategy. “Enhancing growth… We need more Europe… energy union, digital union… we need it….we are importing 50% of our gas!”.

She then continued by referring to the 4th industrial revolution: “Digital is very important…4th revolution… huge opportunity… we need to work on this and we need to do it in a very fast way”.

Coming to Europe’s biggest issue at the moment, the migrant crisis, the Italian businesswoman concluded that: “the real answer is to act as a whole”.

Stay tuned from 20 to 23 January as the Sting will be once more producing top class critical LIVE media coverage from the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland. 

Join the Hive!

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

European car industry: The Germans want it all

MEPs reject making EU regional funding dependent on economic targets

MEPs approve EU’s spending in 2017

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Precision medicine should be accessible to all

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

3 steps to making multistakeholder partnerships a powerful force

Strength in unity: Commission makes recommendations for the EU’s next strategic agenda 2019-2024

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by European Parliament

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

WHO reports ‘very strong progress’ in battling DR Congo Ebola outbreak

Earth already has a perfect recycling system. So why not use it?

In Japan, if you’re 76 you’re biologically 65

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Former Chilean President Bachelet put forward by UN chief as next High Commissioner for Human Rights

Women’s voices must be heard in the battle to save the ocean

Autumn 2018 Economic Forecast: sustained but less dynamic growth amid high uncertainty

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

A new kind of company is revolutionising Africa’s gig economy

This Danish scheme is offering free kayak rides… for picking up trash

Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

The Parliament paves the way for the creation of the European Banking Union

Nigeria: UN chief ‘appalled’ by killing of aid worker; calls for release of remaining hostages

Hiring is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Governments should renew efforts to reform support to agriculture

Resiliency is the key to strong investments in a chaotic world

EU and China in search of a win-win agreement through strategic cooperation ahead of the EU-China summit

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

‘Business as usual’ will not achieve global education goals

Protectionism doesn’t stand a chance in the age of connectivity

Three tips for breaking through bias and seeing evidence more clearly

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

Lithuania vs Parliament over 2014 EU budget

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

Can North Korea and the U.S. strike a nuclear deal?

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is indeed our best bet for a secure climate future”, EU Commissioner for Environment Karmenu Vella cries out from Brussels

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

Let your fingers do the walking

Free trade agreement between EU and India?

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

UN highlights need to solve growing burden of forcibly displaced Africans

These are the countries where it’s still illegal to get an abortion

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

New Zealand can improve well-being through better policymaking and reforms to housing and migration policy

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

To tackle climate change, we need city diplomacy

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

Obese people more likely to smoke, says new gene research: WHO

UN rights chief denounces Burundi for ‘belligerent and defamatory’ attack on inquiry team

Saudi Arabia, China, among 14 nations under UN human rights spotlight: what you need to know

Electronic Cigarettes: Are they really as safe as we think?

The sad plight of fledging doctors

Newly displaced fleeing attacks in northeast Nigeria, top 2,000

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s