Speaking at the end of the informal European Council meeting in Brussels that saw the debut of Tsipras at this level, Passos Coelho dismissed journalist questions suggesting some antipathy towards the new Greek administration.

"I respect the elections that took place in Greece and the Greek Prime Minister holds my every respect as does every head of state and government around the Council table” with the Portuguese leader describing his position towards Tsipras as "neither sympathy nor antipathy."

Passos Coelho also emphasised that he had in the meanwhile had the "opportunity to listen very closely" to the position set out by his Greek peer.

"From what I heard, I did not hear anything different than what has already been conveyed by the media” said the prime minister before stressing that the anti-austerity manifesto did not trump the obligation to observe EU rules and obligations.

The prime minister also took the opportunity to point out that various of the measures in Portugal’s bail out program were also not to the taste of the government but they had stomached them en route to winning back “enough respect and confidence to be able to adjust them."

In passing, Passos Coelho pointed out not only how different the euro would be if Portugal and Ireland had failed to emerge from their programs and that a letter signed by 32 Portuguese figures calling on the government to change its attitude towards Greece made little sense as the country had always been one of the member states that had most defended the latter country.