Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has a huge weight on his shoulders. The pressure is enormous.
He was looking for one thing and found another when he engaged with his debtors/partners. He was hoping to makes changes not only in Greece but also in Europe.
He was expecting solidarity from the countries of Southern Europe, but instead met with an almost hostile reaction.
He was also hoping for help from comrade, Russian President Vladimir Putin, but instead of gold he received a lump of coal.
And in addition, the pressures from within his party are substantial. He was recently forced by his own party to withdraw the nomination of Elena Panaritis, a former professor at the famous Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as Greece ’s IMF representative, she accused of supporting pro- austerity policies.
For four months now Tsipras has literally lived under a sword of Damocles. The possibility of the country’s bankruptcy hangs over his head suspended by the thin thread of hope.
Yet he continues to smile. And not only to smile but to firmly hold the steering wheel of the State, driving straight ahead even though bankruptcy is just meters away.
On June 4, for example, he said that when Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, called to invite him to a meeting to inform him about what was decided at the Berlin Summit and to try to find a solution to the impasse, he accepted his invitation “with great joy.”
Tsipras, shortly before leaving Athens for his appointments, smiling and comfortable, approached the television cameras and said that he warned “the political leadership” of Europe to be “realistic” – a word he used two times – if they want “unity” and not “division” in the Eurozone.
Now, whether he himself demonstrates realism is another matter. And so is the question of whether his statements are for domestic consumption.
It is a truly impressive display of fortitude, regardless of his reasons for taking that stance. Additionally, he is now bearing the burden alone, since he sidelined Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who is persona non grata among the Europeans.
The question today – now more than ever – is what will happen if the front against Athens does not show “realism,” or shows its own kind of realism?
Will Greece be unable to make its 300,000,000 euro payment to the IMF on June 5? Will there be elections? Will a government of National Salvation emerge, as I strongly support?
Doesn’t the continuation of this climate increase the already huge amount of pressure he is under? Aren’t nerves of steel required? Let us wish him courage. He will definitely need it.