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Alexis Tsipras: Hero, Traitor, Hero, Traitor, Hero

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Alex AndreouAthens, Greece & London, UK
Alexis Tsipras: Hero, Traitor, Hero, Traitor, Hero
We apologise to Marxists worldwide for Greece refusing to commit ritual suicide to further the cause. You have suffered from your sofas.

It is revealing of the political landscape in Europe - indeed, the world - that everyone's dreams of socialism seemed to rest on the shoulders of the young Prime Minister of a small country.  There seemed to be a fervent, irrational, almost evangelical belief that a tiny country, drowning in debt, gasping for liquidity, would somehow (and that somehow is never specified) defeat global capitalism, armed only with sticks and rocks.

When it looked like it wouldn't happen, they turned. "Tsipras capitulated." "He is a traitor." The complexity of international politics was reduced to a hashtag, that quickly changed from variants of #prayfortsipras to variants of #tsiprasresign. The world demanded its climax, its X-factor final, its Hollywood dénouement. Anything other than a fight to the death was unacceptable cowardice. 

How easy it is to be ideologically pure when you are risking nothing. When you are not facing shortages, the collapse of social cohesion, civil conflict, life and death. How easy it is to demand a deal that would plainly never be accepted by any of the other Eurozone member states. How easy brave decisions are when you have no skin in the game, when you are not counting down, as I am, the last twenty-four doses of the medication which prevents your mother from having seizures. 

Twenty doses. Fourteen. 

It is a peculiar feature of pathological negativity to focus only on what is lost instead of what is gained. It is the very same attitude that means sections of every country's population - long for their perfect Socialist Utopia while simultaneously avoiding tax every way they can. 

The idea of Tsipras as a "traitor" relies heavily on a cynical misinterpretation of the referendum last week. "OXI", the critics would have you believe, was "no" to any sort of deal; an authorisation to disorderly Grexit. It was nothing of the sort. In speech after speech Tsipras said again and again that he needed a strong "OXI" to use as a negotiating weapon in order to achieve a better deal. Did you all miss that? Now, you may think he didn't achieve a better deal - that may be fair - but to suggest it authorised Grexit is deeply disingenuous. And what about the 38% that voted "NAI"? Was Tsipras not there representing those people, too?  

Fear not. The deal may prove unworkable anyway. It may not be passed by Greek Parliament. Syriza might tear itself apart from within. Grexit may be forced by those who have been trying to make it happen for years now. Then we get to assess what your better outcome looks like. 

Twelve doses. Ten.

The agreement that Tsipras achieved (caveat: as we know it) after negotiating for 17 hours, is a lot worse than anyone could have imagined. It is also a lot better than anyone could hope. It simply depends on whether you focus on what has been lost or what has been gained. The loss is a package of horrific austerity. It is a package which, anyone with any political understanding knows, was coming anyway. The only difference is that, through a compliant government like the previous ones, it would be accompanied by no compensations. 

What has been gained in return is much more money than previously imagined to properly fund the medium term and allow the government to implement its programme, a significant stimulus package, the release of EFSF money which had until now been denied (to the "good" government of Samaras), and an agreement to restructure debt, by transferring bonds from IMF and ECB to the ESM. That is nothing, hecklers heckle. ERT analyst Michael Gelantalis estimates this last part alone to be worth between eight and ten billion less in interest repayments a year. That is a lot of souvlaki.

In the last few hours I have been told that Greece "should just #Grexit NOW"; that we have "a wonderful climate and could easily be self-sufficient"; that we "should adopt bitcoin and crowdfunding to circumvent monetarism"; that "the US would send us medicine". None of these people are suggesting that this should happen in their own country, you understand. Just Greece, so they can see what happens. Most of them live in states with centrist governments, which espouse austerity, but guarantee a steady supply of the latest iPad to the shops. All of them, without exception, could have negotiated a much better deal with a knife to their throat; could have been braver. 

My question to those critics is: What battles are you fighting in your country, city, town, right now? And at what risk? Are you not, in fact, just as bad as the hardcore austerity ideologues that want to experiment with a "toy country", with people's lives, and see how it pans out?

Eight doses. Five.  

Seen as a sort of Helm's Deep, this defeat for the Greeks is monumental, irredeemable. It is the "all is lost" moment. Seen as one opening battle in much larger war, it is hugely valuable. It has drawn the enemy out into the fore, exposed its strengths and weaknesses. It has provided intelligence to others, in Spain and Portugal and Italy, which will ensure they're better prepared. It has been bravely fought. And smartly, because Greece gets to live to fight another day. 

We elected a good, honest and brave man, who fought like a lion against unfathomably large interests. The result may not be the martyrdom for which you had hoped. But it will do for now. 

_________

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_________

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#Greece, #Tsipras, #Syriza, #Agreement, #EU, #Austerity, #Radicalism, #Compromise

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Leyla Sanai

1 year ago

Excellent article, Alex. Thank you. I hope your mother is able to continue receiving supplies of her seizure medication. If not, I would be happy to contribute to crowdfund that, from privwte prescriptions in Britain.

nick james

1 year ago

Great and passionate article, Alex, that summarises exactly how I, as an outside British observer, feel about Tsipras.

I can only imagine how you feel about your Mum and her essential medicine. As little as it is, I wish you both the strength to cope with the situation and send you both my love.

Michelle Cahill

1 year ago

He was throw in among the hungry lions...........he survived the fight another battle the war is not over yet. Never give up for a better day

Lela Gary

1 year ago

Traitor : he betrayed Greece, Socialism, and his Campaign on: NO Austerity!
Hero: He is a very Weak Leader, to be called a hero. He does not realize Greece's Strategic Advantage to Exit Euro, play his cards right, and teach Troika a very hard lesson....

There is no such idea of United Europe, when the South is an Economic victim to the North profiteering.....

Judy Whitehead

1 year ago

I've certainly never thought that Tsipras was/is a traitor; rather, he was crushed by northern European finance capital and its 'legislative executive', i.e. 'the institutions.' I understand the term that was used by a witness was that he was financially water boarded. Let's keep the true 'villain' in view, a rapacious, predatory financial industry gone amok, plus their executors in Germany and elsewhere that have played a very dirty ethnic card to mask what was and is bank bailouts. I think he did the best in what must have been an almost unbearably difficult situation. My one criticism of Syriza is that they did not, in the past 5 months, prepare a plan B, i.e. an exist plan that would have been more orderly than what might now transpire. Given past experience and that of other countries, e.g. Argentina, they should have been more aware of the nature of the beast and prepared for any eventuality. By the way, I sincerely hope your mother gets her medicines on time and you are right to point out that these survival issues are the priority right now.

Sarchis Dolmanian

1 year ago

Tsipras is neither traitor nor hero. He is nothing but a very unlucky man who tried to solve a situation but lacked both strong backing from his own camp (98% of the Icelanders voted No vs 61% of the Greeks) and a reasonable counterpart with which to negotiate.
I'm afraid the outcome will solve nothing.
https://nicichiarasa.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/how-damaged-is-eurozone-and-eu-by-greek-debacle/#comment-676

Junior Smith

1 year ago

Tsipras is obviously a traitor. But this whole Greece fiasco is a premeditated hoax to fool a lot of people. Including the REAL people of Greece. People can judge countries all they want. But the only picture of the world you have is through the lens of the media. The political leaders are ALWAYS the poorest example of liberty. The people of Greece must rise up and revolt. If necessary, drag Tsipras out into the streets. Even if you have to beat down the police to keep them out of the way and in fear of the people. Because it is like Thomas Jefferson once told us. When the government does not fear the people, its a tyranny. When the government DOES fear the people. Its LIBERTY.

TriTro29

1 year ago

Drag who into the streets? While I profoundly feel betrayed (not by Tsipras, he's a man, like us all and didn't felt the urge to turn Greece into 1980's Albania, which I applaud) by the general idiocy of those who couldn't admit they were wrong, why would you drag the only faction in the country of Greece that IS NOT in any way tarnished by the filth of once upon a time. People are quick to demonize Syriza, albeit it is somewhat deserved in the way they clearly miscalculated the bunch of pimps that reign supreme at the Eurogroup, but check yourself before you wreck yourself. Syriza since February was set to fail. The ECB liquidity choke, the remitances from the EFSF (about 1.8 bln) that never came. The outright disdain shown by a bunch of cleptocrats to real propositions. While I don't belive everything Varufakis wrote, the whole no-proposal blank stare from the Eurogroup doesn't even need evidence, it is the general line of the institution (that BTW has no legal basis). We cook, you pay. When you have fear in a relationship, there's no Liberty anywhere. Try that with your kid, your wife, your family to see how it goes.

Huseyin Ali

1 year ago

What Greece needs is more Western European Socialists to go there and tell them how to run their country. Who cares if the Greek people suffer at least the joke British Socialist Parties will get a few more votes and maybe come fifth in some elections with their utopian fantasies. But I guess all the people critisizing Greece from the outside really understand what its like in Greece at the moment better than the Greeks. The truth is you can fight amongst your secterian selves all you like, but you are just as imperialist as your governments if you think Greek people should suffer for the sake of your own working class. Greece finally has a government that does what it thinks is best for Greece. Yes the deal was disapointing but it was the best they could do without a Grexit that they promised they would not do when elected and even in the referendum.

Audrey Karsons

1 year ago

What a lot of bull. Political amoralism should never be applauded. Tsipras is a political coward for not letting his own electorate know fair and square that his pre-election promises were all populist shambles and he has won the elections on outright lies. How about a public statement of the sort, "the central-rightwing AND leftwing parties were right all along, it's either austerity or the drachma indeed"? "EU cannot change after all, I need to go home and re-think my political line from scratch"? That would be bravery. He spent 5 years criticising the "memorandum" parties for cowardice and "Merkelism", and now begs on his knees for their vote (along with Merkel's generocity). He just realised, same as the author I suppose, that one needs funds for medicine and food? This is not a revolutionary. This is a political renegade that cares about his own skin, which now has changed from a memorandum bulldozer to a key member of the austerity block. Remember, 'socialists' are so much better in passing austerity measures, as they care for the poor after all (in words, of course). It is morally criminal to leverage a whole nation's hope for your own ascend. And this is why he is a political corpse at the moment.

Louis De La Crecelle

1 year ago

Tsipras didn't have much cards in hands. He needs funds badly and quickly for his country. He managed to snatch the best worst deal. But as the author says nothing's done yet. European parliaments have to rubber stamp it especially the Greek one.

John Turner

1 year ago

good point of view, here other point of view about Greek crisis https://www.patriotdirect.org/greek-crisis-surrender-financial-power-consequently-for-bailout/

Pietro Salvatori

1 year ago

Mr Andreou seems supporting the weird idea he had to represent the 38% voting against his thesis, instead of the 62% voting in favour. Actually, he's acted in this way...My opinion is he had to represent the 100% of Greek people by listening to the willing of 62%: this is democracy, I suppose

CedillaHonoring

1 year ago

I'm sorry I don't agree with your position at all, that's not to say I'm calling Tsipras a traitor, I'm absolutely not, I have the utmost respect for Syriza, they've stood up to the Trioka and the Euro-group in a way that none of the other member states have, they've been honourable and principled in this impossible position, and if I'm honest I have no idea what I would have done if i'd found my self there, but to suggest this outcome is in anyway a good one is disingenuous. Its a fucking disaster for the Greek people and its bad news for the rest of us.

Sergiu Paraschiv

1 year ago

I am very curious to know what ***possible*** outcome you'd have preferred. One that's not a "fucking disaster". Except the one where everyone else in the EU donates $1/day, that would be fucking rude.

Ms. M

1 year ago

politicians should be forgiven if they are liars or traitors. thats what they do basically. it is us who are dumb enough to choose them or put our hopes on them. people these days are too idealistic. so much so that it borders stupidity. nowadays, people expect to get good results by dealing with the devil. these days people demand good results from bad people/the devils. Honey, the world does not work this way. it is very simple actually, if you want good and nice things, you ask from the good people, not the devils....c'moonn this is common sense! of course these devils would dress themselves as if they were angels, so again it goes back to us. can we see who is the good person and who is evil? if we cant differentiate between the two, well...enjoy the deterioration of this world. its coming to us all. today its greece, tomorrow who knows...

Chris Thompson

1 year ago

I think this is an excellent article. No matter how bad the final deal proved to be, or how awkward Tsipras' tactical moves were, he ultimately proved himself to be a leader and a statesman in very difficult circumstances. It took courage to shift positions, but he did what he felt was necessary to possibly minimize suffering. Varoufakis on the other hand proved to be the polar opposite -- a Svengali telling lies ("the banks will open on Tuesday after the No vote"; "there are already offers on the table; there [could/would] be a deal within 24 hours"; etc. -- what the hell?), and totally insulated from the consequences of his idealistic/ideological politics and the suffering of the common person by his considerable wealth. Don't get me wrong, the deal is a mess, but Tsipras impressed me by behaving like an adult and making hard choices.

Eugenia Berdali

1 year ago

Tsipras is not a traitor. he is simply an idiot. Even to be traitor you must have a working brain. He went to Europe with no plan other than his obsolete perceptions of a Marxist something unidentifiable running on drachma - which he could never manage at all. Just as the pervious morons he has no plan to reorganize Greece, His big accomplishments were rehiring the cleaning ladies and rehire the thousands of employees in ERT that feed on the public system. Greece may be a victim but is responsible for victimizing herself. We received money that we spent who knows where (probably building account in Switzerland for the smart and the great) and left the country disorganized and the people in their own world of self deception. So, if banks are bad we let them in. Now hopefully we will learn our lesson, get rid of all the parliament pimps and start recreating our country!

TriTro29

1 year ago

Hahahah. No Plan? Have you ever tried to deal with a wall? Well ad a pair of wheels on the side and you'd have the kind of mental image, Alexis had for about 4 months...Reorganizing Greece when your banking sector is on life support. What money did you actually received from 2009? Get you facts straight. Greece hasn't received as as GLF more than 50 billion, basically those are just above the usual structural funds that the EU normally owns Greece. The rest are just sent straight into the banking system, so the EMU doesn't fall of its chair. The whole Greeks spending excess is bollocks once you read the books. And that's the beauty of it. People like you, clueless take on the "Greeks", while the facts are simple. You just got robbed blind. And the Robbers are lending you to repay them. But yea, Tsipras is an idiot...

Alan Burgess

1 year ago

I fully agree with BullenPendleton. It is shocking how far the Troika has pushed Greece. It is making Greece an example so Portugal, Spain Italy and Ireland won't rise up and challenge austerity. But the war is not over. On Wednesday there will be a general strike called by the public sector. Antarsya an anti-capitalist party has called to nationalise the banks. In the current highly politicised environment they could grow quickly.

ighallas

1 year ago

I would be quite eager and somewhat consoled to embrace this. If only there wasn't this bug BUT very current like now. The witch hunt Syriza seems to be unleashing on Varoufakis and Konstantopoulou. If a stop isn't put to this, preferrably by Tsipras' public defence of them, I am afraid he, and the whole party, have really embraced the dark side. The Moscow Trials are among my least favorite parts of left's history.

BullenPendleton

1 year ago

That is a deeply disingenuous article. There are good reasons for seeing this deal as essentially more of the same, i.e. that it will result in further economic stagnation and contraction of the Greek economy and thus, inability to pay back these unsustainable debts. Grexit, while the potential destabilisation may indeed be severe and is not to be underestimated, may be a less painful alternative in the medium to long term. I think most of the ‘Marxists’ around the world you refer to are genuinely moved by compassion and concern for the Greek people, rather than the kind of armchair-spectator vibe you are trying to impute to them. Also you talk of ‘states with centrist governments, which espouse austerity,’ and make a facetious comment about them guaranteeing ‘a steady supply of the latest iPad to the shops.’ I come from one such state (Ireland) and where I am, nobody, can afford a new iPad; many people can barely feed themselves, young people are dependant on their parents, planning to emigrate. This is the reality of austerity. Ireland being held up as a ‘good pupil’ is an unbelievably insulting joke. Most left-wing observers were not hoping for Tsipras’ martydom, they were genuinely rooting for him in the hope that the Troika would see sense that austerity isn’t working. With hindsight, it was perhaps naïve to think that the ‘institutions’ had economics uppermost in their mind. Clearly, a core group led by Germany had decided to try and push them out or make them capitulate completely.

Sandi Dunn

1 year ago

Here's my humble view, please correct it where necessary: I am now very anti the EU 'ideal'. Greece has shown us that the EU is just another neocon outfit set up in favour of the rich 1% and global corporations. (NB: The EU WILL eventually allow TTIP to come in - which is why US is so keen on UK staying in EU). So, come the UK referendum I will vote to come out, because, via the EU 'Troika' (IMF, ECB and EU) debt can too easily be pushed onto corrupt politicians in 28 plus countries, (as happened to Africa in 20th Cent - which had to eventually be wiped). The private creditors/speculators, then take out bets on stock markets that the particular country will default so that they can collect, (as the debt can never be re paid because of the effect of compound interest). Also, The debtor, Greece now, but already us, (slaves) will be forced to sell the 'silver' (public utilities) to benefit the banks/creditors/elite. Then the likes of you and me, via PAYE taxes (NB: corporations' pay zilch taxes,), will then be 'morally bound' to bail out the criminal activity in order that the ATMs will work and oaps etc get their money. This is capitalism! So, please let's start asking,: why has Godman Sachs got away with cooking the books for Greece's entry into the EU? AND why has Germany got away with having lent so much money to Greeks, so that Greeks would use it to buy German made war ships and weapons - which they did not need. AND in the process, much of this money was syphoned off to Swiss bank accounts. Let's focus on rounding up those corrupt politicians, in Germany and Greece, who designed all this to happen before Syritza came to power. The stolen money must be confiscated from the Swiss banks.

Bill Breedon

1 year ago

Leaving the EU is easy enough; like defeating Sadam Hussein. What do you propose to do when you're out and being led by a committed socialist government? You'll be in the same position as France after the anti monarchist revolution, surrounded by antagonistic states. The left needs to unite across the EU and push for change, not retreat into nationalism and isolation.

glopol_analysis

1 year ago

This is a four-time-nothing pseudo-analysis lacking coherence and meaning, not to mention the lack of citing any references.
In addition, the author fails to realise the immense implications of the signed deal. It is an irreversible loss of sovereignty of a country, and its surrender to a fascist supranational state (Troika). In other words the author is clueless.

glopol_analysis

1 year ago

mpratsoula: "Nothing is ever irreversible in politics."
In this case it is. Unless of course whole Europe will liberate itself from Troika, and arrest these criminals. But signing this deal is like committing suicide instead of allowing a painful operation.
Iceland is a small country too, was hit by the worst crisis in 2008, yet recovered, while all other countries under EU are strangled by Troika.
Grexit would have been the only option. The only legal option anyway. On my blog explained why:
"The citizens of all indebted countries should reject Austerity and odious Public Debts"
https://globalpoliticalanalysis.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/oxi-greferendum-the-citizens-of-all-indebted-countries-should-reject-austerity-and-odious-public-debts/

mpratsoula

1 year ago

Nothing is ever irreversible in politics.

Azhar Mushtaq

1 year ago

Dear Alex! KUDOS for this article. This is an eyeopener for the critics who are sitting in their lavished drawing rooms and criticizing Tripras government in Greece! My best wishes are with Comrade Tripras and Greece. Long Live Socialism! Long Live People! Long Live Humanity!

Adam Murray

1 year ago

Not one mention of the Greek Communists in the KKE?

If you're going to write an article poking Marxists in the eye over this issue you might want to at least mention the KKE.

Jill Murphy

1 year ago

I think the populations of Europe should be down on their knees, thanking you for forcing the people that rule us out into the open, in their true colours.

Jeffery Nicholas

1 year ago

Thank you for this. It has inspired me.
http://solidarityandcritique.com/real-suffering-greece/

Claudio Contreras

1 year ago

If Tsipras is the Lion, I guess Varoufakis definitely is the Scarecrow. Who is the Tin Man?
I think we all know who the Wicked Witch of the West is!
My grandparents were made refugees by capitalism's aberration. My parents were made refugees by capitalism's aberration. Is my skin in the game yet? Should I mortify my flesh to gain authorization? Are you aware that far from wanting an "orderly exit", the main faction of SYRIZA is calling for the Left Platform to be expelled and a new "national unity" govt of SYRIZA-TP-ND-PASOK to implement austertity ad infinitam? Are you aware that the only thing potentially stopping the Fascists of Golden Dawn becoming the official opposition party in Greece is the possibility of the "Armchair Ches" like Kouvelakis etc of the Left Platform refusing to resign as MPs and forming their own parliamentary group?
No doubt there are lions in Greece, but they are being led by donkeys.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre compañero!

mpratsoula

1 year ago

I'm amazed that someone called "Contreras" understands perfectly the predicament of Syriza gov and the dilemma presented for Left Platform. One question though: who is Kouvelakis?

Jules Gee

1 year ago

Poor paper.

Tsipras is not a hero nor a traitor : he's a good man with good intentions who lost the battle because he ruled out an option in his battle plan and let his enemies know about that. He made a big strategic mistake. He thought that the german Euro and a refusal of austerity of austerity would be compatible, he got surprised by the dogmatism and the complete lack of empathy of its opponent. Varoufakis apparently made the same mistake (even though he was more cautious) by considering the German, Finnish, Dutch, Estonians, Lituanians... as rational "partners" in this political war.
There was only one way, for a small country like Greece, to escape austerity forever : a prepared Grexit, with unilateral restructuring of the debt. Like Ecuador did.

Brigitte Lechner

1 year ago

Thank you for this thoughtful contribution. I too feel that this is a major battle in the war of attrition to come and it has been fought with commitment and insight. A prescient documentary foreshadowing it can be found on You Tube entitled 'Catastroika'. The mask has been well and truly ripped off the Europe of the People myth.

editorialmuse

1 year ago

Once again - thank you Alex for a piece that is not only beautifully written but which is also spot on.

I've been confused by people's reaction to the referendum, accusing Tsipras of shirking responsibility asking the Greek people to make a decision he couldn't make. I welcomed the referendum as I thought it was giving people a choice and a chance to voice their opinion as to what they were willing to put up with. The majority of the Greek people said they wanted to stay in the euro but were opposed to more austerity. In that case they didn't need a prime minister they needed Harry Houdini!

Tsipras has been in an impossible position that can best be described as "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't." That's one of the reasons I thought his decision to call a referendum in the first place was both bold and brilliant. He let the people tell him what they wanted and he would do as they asked.

Now, everyone is quick to criticize him for accepting terms that were harsher than those proposed on June 25, but if he were to say 'no' everyone would be holding him responsible for Greece's exit from the euro. That is really unfair. We - Greeks - cannot have our cake and eat it too.

Plus, in the past 5-6 months many people have been pointing the finger at him and Syriza for all of Greece's problems, as if everything was fine until January 2015. What about the previous governments who failed to implement any of the reforms required under the 1st and 2nd bailouts? This is why trust has been lost, as Merkel and other EU officials keep saying, implying that Tsipras and Varoufakis are to blame, as well as the reason why the most recent measures are so harsh.

I didn't even vote for the guy but he has earned my respect. And some of the things I do give credit to him, Varoufakis and Syriza for is the fact that they put debt relief on the table, which until the IMF report, everybody was denying; and for unmasking Europe and its so-called leaders. I don't think anyone can look at the EU the same way again, especially not after this past weekend.

Gordon Mpisoukis

1 year ago

Unacceptable
The deal agreed by the Greek government and the Eurogroup is based on the economic ideology of neoliberal economics. It assumes that applying severe austerity measures (cutting spending on public services (again), cutting pensions (again) and raising sales taxes, while reducing labour rights and relaxing regulations for big business, will produce economic growth for Greece to service its debt and prosper.
This is a vain hope. The IMF reports have shown that more austerity just makes things worse. It all depends on the Eurozone growing faster in the next few years to help Greece, combined with foreign investment to drive more Greek big business investment. That is unlikely to happen. Greece will be faced with a debt crisis again. In the meantime, the living standards of the majority of the Greek people will fall further!
That this agreement is designed to humiliate the Greeks and any government opposed to the Franco-German leadership of Europe is the proposal to hand over Greek national assets to the Troika to sell off as they please, to pay down debt and refinance Greek private banks. Will they be selling ports, airports (already), banks, the Parthenon? to foreign investors. Then they are keeping the money to pay back their own loans.
This is a total humiliation for Greeks. But even worse, it is an economic policy that will not work.
So the favouritism in the name of a domestic parasitical urban class cannot be realism.
We do not speak about traitors or heroes but for the cynicism of an opportunist in the neoliberal frame.

Sergiu Paraschiv

1 year ago

@Jules Gee: the most important difference between not being paid back that debt and erasing it is that every other EU country in debt would ask for the same treatment. And we definitely want those countries that still have a hope of paying back to do it.

Jules Gee

1 year ago

Grexit + unilateral debts erasing and/or restructuring.
Saying that erasing Greek debts is costing 700€ per European is just bullshit. Debts are not possessed by citizens but mostly by the ECB (which can create money out of nothing). And an erased debt is not equivalent to losing immediately its value : it is erasing the hope to ever get your hand on it. And guess what ? We are never going to get our hands on the Greek debt, because they will never be able to pay it. Same goes for all the European countries debts...

Ptigros69

1 year ago

So what do you want exactly? Grexit? That would mean getting back to the Drachme and of course devaluating it in order to pay back the debts. This is just 'disguised austerity' because it will leave the normal Greek population with even less wealth than they would have through sound austerity measures.

Or maybe you want the 500m Europeans to accpet to cancel Greek debt. Each of us would loose about 700€. I'm sorry but can't afford it. And I guess many fellow Europeans can't either. And even if we did it, it wouldn't solve the problem. It's like when your neighbour borrows you some money to buy a new car. At some point he realises he can't pay you back, what would you do? Tell him that it's all right? He'll just come back the next day to ask you for some more money because he's bankrupt and he needs to buy food to feed his family. But in the meantime he'll still be driving a much nicer car than you...

Luna Makridou

1 year ago

There is absolutely no sign (untill now) that he is actually planning to restructure and take any measures against the oligarchy in the country. As it seems, he might be at their side, have a look at this, hope you find it interesting.
http://unfollow.com.gr/web-only/19244-sagias-2

Subin Das

1 year ago

I salute Mr Tsipras for all his efforts and lion hearted deeds . It is not a job of week hearted fellow to stand against great tormentors and talk them down. For the time being he did capitulate to enormous pressures from Germany and her allies, I know and fully believe that he shall not forget this treatment and uncompassionate behaviour from rest of Euro members. I would love to see all these faces when he stands on his own feet and like a gladiator avenges these people fore insulting Greece and her proud people. Hoe I stay alive to see him stand proud and tall. It was these Greeks who did write-off all loans taken by Germany during WW-II and left some breather space for these heartless B-----------s.

Michales Loukovikas

1 year ago

Well-written, indeed. Its basic argument: sofa revolutionaries... Well, this argument is not valid for the Greeks who would suffer anyway - whatever the "solution". We do have the right to say to the government: You fucked up!!! Why? Because all the countries of the world had prepared themselves for a Grexit - except Greece! All of them had a plan B, C, D... - except Greece. Syriza should have studied a long time ago, before the election, & prepared a detailed plan back to drachma - just in case... They did nothing. Who's to blame? As for an explicit YES or NO to a possible return to the drachma, the people were never asked. The referendum could have a 2nd question, even more important: IF EURO = AUSTERITY WHAT DO YOU WANT? But no... So, our NO in just a week was turned into YES. WHO'S TO BLAME??? [I don't take into account the utter stupidity that the 38% of YES had the right to influence our path because then I would negate democracy].

Theodoros Vasilopoulos

1 year ago

Amazing article. Coherent, honest and pragmatic. Unfortunately "Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn"
http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/505/362/3f4.gif

Anna Paidoussi

1 year ago

very accurate assessment. thank you.

anna paidoussi
greek-american with family and friends in Greece (not on couch....more like edge of seat)

j w

1 year ago

This all depends on what restructuring terms actually arrive. impossible to say at this stage. In many ways terrible other details, although at least assets not going to luxembourg. this shows it was absolute b/s for him to claim his govt was going to rerverse EU austerity, although iguess it would have been difficult to campaign on the slogan "we will deliver much worse austerity, but we have longer to pay it all off"

oneoffireland

1 year ago

i think most of us on our sofas outside Greece (in Ireland) who do not have 'skin in the game' are more horrified at the deeply cruel depths that the Eurogroup will go to. I salute Syriza for trying but the other side brought a nuclear arsenal. Not the EU of its founding principals anymore and I think the sense of alienation will grow and grow as the crisis deepens.

KosteeRoccas

1 year ago

Like you Alex I have an investment here as well. My family has suffered and most I know are struggling to even acquire medicine as you allude to.

That being said there is nothing honorable in a capitulation so vast in scope. In the end the EU was able to win because they knew they could rely on greed and fear. Greed at losing the euro and what little savings people had and fear of the unknown which a Grexit would bring.

It all comes down to this really, are modern Greeks willing to sacrifice their livelihood and the security of their families? No they are not. Is it cowardly? Possibly but people are inherently selfish.

The difference is that some of us are willing to make those sacrifices. Some would have sacrificed the immediate present for fiscal freedom down the road and some were even willing to sacrifice more including their well-being. People would suffer undoubtedly but I still argue that it is better than this slow asphyxiation that's occurring right now.

The collapse of social cohesion, civil conflict, life and death may have been a possibility but ten times out of ten I know what my father would have done.

I can't blame the Greeks for being scared but Tsipras deserves nothing for his folly. A real lion would have also gone down fighting. There is nothing honorable about this national humiliation.

Is the Euro really worth that much to people? They all want the Euro but as corrupt as Greece was and still is, every common person I've interviewed reminisces about how things were easier. There was a reason for that. In addition when I ask people what benefit has the European Union tangibly brought to your life, none have been able to give me a informed answer or even answer the question itself.

Vicki Preston

1 year ago

Thank you, Alex. As I sit here in shocked disbelief as my idea of "Europe" disintegrates before my eyes, you have articulated how I feel better than anyone. We were outgunned. We were always outgunned. But just as when Greece said "OXI" in 1940 it did not prevent the subsequent occupation, nor could our "OXI" prevent it now. We live to fight another day. And I am thankful we have a lion and not a mouse on our side.

Vassilis Tsipopoulos

1 year ago

As someone who does live in Greece and therefore faces the same problems you describe, I suppose I have the right to criticize. OXI did not give permission for a GRexit you say. I agree. It also said no to a specific deal that was proposed and consequently it said no to any deal that was worse.
Do you honestly believe that if today another referendum was held for this deal, the greek people would tell Tsipras to sign it? Because I feel they would have overwhelmingly said no once more. It is sad that the people of this country who have for years been accused of being "asleep" etc seem to be more ready for a necessary fight than the leadership of a left wing party with roots in the communist party.
I understand your position but I'm afraid the fact remains that this deal is despicable and no government has the right to sign it

Rafael Woitzuck

1 year ago

>I understand your position but I'm afraid the fact remains that this deal is despicable and no government has the right to sign it

Well, in this case the only possible way is GREXIT. There will be another haircut and there will be a prolonged austernity and it will be a slippery slope between those goverments which have to explain the haircut and those which struggle with rising poverty.

Alex Andreou

1 year ago

The detail of the deal remains to be seen, but if it does contain restructuring, three-year finance and the growth package, I think it fundamentally is a better deal. At the very least, now that opinion is shifting, it will give Greece a chance to breathe, assess, regroup and possibly plan for an orderly exit.