WikiLeaks cast the spotlight on John Podesta’s emails to former US president Bill Clinton in July 2015. The message was clear and simple – to exert pressure on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and force him into accepting a debt deal with its EU partners.
Greek-American Podesta received an e-mail from another Greek-American politician, Phil Angelides. During the two men’s contact, Podesta was warned of the situation in Greece and the negative consequences the fallout from Greek citizens’ “No” votecould have. In the email, the connection between James Galbraith and former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was stressed and it was stated that the channels of communication were open with the economist.
The emails between Podesta and Angelides intensified a few days prior to the July 2015 agreement between Greece and its EU partners when all eyes were on Tsipras.
Clinton was urged to help Tsipras see sense. The conversation between Clinton and Tsipras didn’t take place face-to-face but their aides were in contact. In this way, five words of advice were sent to Tsipras on July 11, 2015, just a few days after the referendum in Greece and a few days prior to the signing of the third bailout for Greece.
1. Even if Greece’s EU partners had outrageous demands, the Greek PM was advised to remain calm.
2. Tsipras was advised to continue underlining the geopolitical and economic advantages of Greece remaining in the eurozone and the stress that this was to everyone’s interest.
3. Tsipras was told that debt restructuring would be an important victory for Greece.
4. Tsipras was advised to gain trust and to show that Greece had the inclination and capability to apply reforms, even if this meant that the would have to move as quickly as possible by voting for basic reforms at Greek Parliament within the coming days.
5. Tsipras was advised to remember that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders had political limitations and needed to have strong proof that Greece would decisively proceed with reforms and be flexible.