Greece Politics,Greece DebtCrisis,AlexisTsipras
Share Print Clip Com m ents
Greece's forgotten migrant
Osborne’s building plan for
What next for China's equities?
offering a better deal, he clearly failed. His last minute proposal, delivered on Thursday night, was
in line with most of the creditors’ demands. It was a bitter defeat for him and for those who
advocated voting No. They won a referendum but lost a war.
Yet Mr Tsipras is more popular than ever. His political hegemony is unprecedented in recent
Greek history. His latest ploy was to try to outsmart both the creditors and his own comrades with
a bold move: a parliamentary vote, which he won in the early hours of Saturday morning, on his
latest offer to the institutions. His party has had to swallow his proposal; who would dare to
challenge him? Meanwhile, his intention is for the rest of Europe to conclude that Syriza has
reached the limits of bending without breaking. Any more pressure will signify their determination
to humiliate Mr Tsipras at any cost.
With the parliamentary vote won, Greek legislators have approved a third bailout agreement. It
will not be perfect; tax rises are still unjustifiably prevalent, the overhaul of the pension system is
half-baked, cuts in military spending are less than enough, energy sector deregulation is absent,
the privileges of the Greek Orthodox Church remain intact.
But it gives Mr Tsipras the power and the opportunity to cleanse his own party of extremists. He
can establish himself as a statesman, ready to assume political cost in order to protect his country.
He can erase from the political memory his unwise promises, his imprudent referendum
manoeuvre, his clumsy negotiation methods, his many lethal mistakes. He can transform himself
into a leader of a more moderate left, decisively pro-European, not from necessity but from choice.
He can consolidate his power, he can reorganise and expand his party towards the centre and he
can reinvent himself as a progressive reformist.
Alternatively, he can remain the same, a relic of a defunct ideology. Creating obstacles to reforms.
Trying to cheat Greece’s partners. Reorganising, regrouping and waiting for a rematch. In a game
he is destined to lose.
The writer is an associate professor of law and economics at the University of Athens
Statesman or ideologue — Tsipras has to choose - FT.com http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/17bd530a-2715-11e5-bd83-71cb60e8f08c...
2 of 3 11/7/2015 11:30 πμ