He has become the man of the hour. Dozens of journalists accompany his every step.
Some commentary is positive – he is very smart, they say. Others taunt him: “What kind of outfit is that? What kind of manners are these?”
Greece’s new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, with the “madness” he carries and attire inappropriate for a major government official –“It’s time for them to get serious and wear ties if they want to be taken seriously and don’t want to consolidate the impression that Greece is a mixed-up country,” people say – has stirred the stagnant waters of the Eurozone.
That is good both for Greece and Europe. In that sense, the new Greek government is a “revolutionary” movement.
They did the obvious – what, unfortunately, no previous government during the crisis era did: they took the initiative. And presented a solution. They have a plan! As the saying goes: whoever fails to plan, plans to fail. Previous governments learned that too late, if at all.
And not only do they have a plan, but they declared what kind of solution they want!
You may ask: “But will it be accepted by Brussels and Berlin?” That remains to be seen. Maybe they will accept one part of the plan, the bonds in perpetuity, the payment of interest on the bonds without them ever coming to maturity.
Regardless of what happens, it matters that the new leadership went on the offensive. It showed determination, and impressive speed in making decisions.
Moreover, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made – and let them not deny it – a great retreat from his pre-election positions: he stopped asking for a new “haircut” on the debt. The markets breathed a sigh of relief, soaring high on the Athens Exchange – and internationally.
Generally, we have reached the conclusion that the new government thus far is following an intelligent strategy based on two pillars: one is to seek help dealing with the debt, and the other is to give its partners what they are asking for – a promise to provide remedies for the sick economy. Namely, to fight oligarchy and tax evasion.
“We will not cease until we succeed. If we are snuffed out by the vested interests, it will be our honor to have fallen in fighting the good fight,” Varoufakis told the Financial Times.
If the new leaders make a good effort to address those two evils, even if they fall short of the ideal, the European governments and the markets will see Greece with a different eye, and will give it another chance.
So, for the good of the country, let us give Tsipras and Varoufakis the benefit of the doubt.