“There is nothing wrong with elections and the democratic process, but if promises are made that burden third parties, then they are probably not realistic,” said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to his Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis.
“Europe is at a crossroads. We must not dissemble democracy with a sledgehammer by saying that elections do not count,” Varoufakis replied.
Τhe public Clash of the Ministers is wholly dangerous to the interests of Greece. Such conflicts would be dangerous under any circumstances. But under these conditions, with Germany as the opponent, the danger takes on even greater dimensions.
I understand that such “David versus Goliath” conflicts have a romantic element and boost a nation’s morale. The politicians know this, and the result is that they will influence and be influenced by the populace accordingly.
Thus, a climate of euphoria has been formed within the walls of Hellenism.
But then what? There is always a “what then?” How will the government meet its payroll and other obligations?
The Germans, through European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi, have already humbled the Greek Minister. Only a few hours after their meeting, thetermination of a service offered to the Greek banking system was announced.
The public collision of the two Ministers took place without even the usual diplomatic niceties. The Greek Minister did not even utter the clichéd, “We agreed to disagree.”
Those who think that Greece can shame the Germans into changing their policy are making a crucial strategic mistake. And those who think Greece can play the Russia card to pressure Europe – and the United States – are making an even bigger mistake.
This same error has been committed by both Greece and Cyprus a few times in the past. And is has cost them in every instance.
And now, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced that he will visit Moscow on May 9.
When will we Greeks ever learn? When will we learn that Greece, rightly or wrongly, decided to ally with the EU and NATO?
Russian President Vladimir Putin, certainly, is just doing his job, as expected: the more problems he creates for the U.S. and the EU, the better.
But how long will Greece continue to tolerate policies that suit the politicians but harm the people?