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Pierre Laurent, National Secretary of the French Communist Party: “Let’s see if France will really side with Syriza” s

Translated Sunday 1 February 2015, by Anne Sanders

Saturday 31st January 2015 Humanité

Pierre Laurent at a meeting in Marseille on 26th January

The National Secretary of the PCF, the French Communist Party, told the European Council on Friday that “it remains to be seen whether France really supports Syriza”. Meanwhile, Alexis Tsipras is expected to hold talks with François Hollande in Paris on Wednesday.

“Now it remains to be seen if the French government really supports Syriza when it comes to discussions with the European Council. We will know more on Wednesday,” stated Pierre Laurent as he was leaving the international conference organised on Friday evening at Bobigny, prior to the statutory meeting of Ensemble which will take place this weekend. President François Hollande invited the new prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, to come to Paris on Wednesday 4th February, before the next European Council on 12th. “This is a sign that the governments of Europe, who have not hitherto given noticeable support to Syriza, are obliged to take the Greek vote into account. It’s significant,” emphasised Pierre Laurent.

“Syriza’s first victory is to have once again ensured that the voice of the Greek people is heard in Europe: it is no longer the Troika who makes decisions, but the government of the Greek people. The French government recognises this, and this is good,” he said. “I have been working with Syriza for five years. We have become very close over these years in our battle against austerity. What is happening in Athens is extremely important for all left-wing anti-austerity movements in Europe,” added M. Laurent, who is also President of the Party of the European Left. “We have things to learn from the desire to rally together which has been the key feature of Syriza’s progress during these years of struggle against the Troika’s plans. Syriza has always been careful to spread its area of influence, and this has paid off. They should continue that way,” he added.

Before going to Paris, the new Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, will go to Rome on Tuesday to meet his counterpart, Matteo Renzi. His tour will be preceded by that of the Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to London, Paris and Rome. In particular, Yanis Varoufakis is going to London on Sunday to meet investors before meetings scheduled for Monday in London with his counterpart, George Osborne. He will leave London on Monday afternoon to go to Paris, where he will meet his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, and the French Finance Minister, Emmanuel Macron.

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