PM Tsipras and European leftist leaders visiting Greece focus on the rise of the populist far-right in Europe

The rise of the populist far-right in Europe and the prospects of cooperation between leftist and other progressive forces to prevent this were the focus of talks on Friday between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European leftist leaders visiting Greece to attend the SYRIZA party conference, sources said.

The Greek prime minister had successive meetings at the Maximos Mansion with the secretary-general of the Cypriot leftist party AKEL, Andros Kyprianou, French Communist Party National Secretary Pierre Laurent and leading member of Germany’s Die Linke party Gregor Gysi.

The discussion with Laurent focused on the challenges facing a leftist party that finds itself in power within a European framework, while they also discussed the need for debt relief for Greece, in order to give investors a signal that Greece was turning things around. They further discussed ways in which the left in France, in collaboration with other progressive forces, might stop the rise to power of Marie Le Pen’s Front National (FN) party, ahead of the presidential elections in 2017.

Rising nationalist and populist tendencies also dominated the meeting with Gysi, as well as the prospects for cooperation between the Left, social-democrats and greens in Germany. Talks for the formation of such a ruling coalition of the left, greens and social democrats are currently underway in Berlin, following recent regional elections.

The talks with Kyprianou were more focused on the negotiations for a solution on the Cyprus issue, which are currently ongoing, with AKEL’s leader briefing Tsipras on his party’s positions.