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Survey says! Greece got outflanked by more experienced European Union politicians who forced the Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition to mostly give up its fight.

How Greece Got Outmaneuvered

The New Yorker – John Cassidy

Greece’s new left-wing Syriza government had been telling everyone for weeks that it wouldn’t agree to extend the bailout, and that it wanted a new loan agreement that freed its hands, which marks the deal as a capitulation by Syriza and a victory for Germany and the rest of the E.U. establishment.

Ordinary Greeks have been withdrawing cash from the nation’s banks at a rate of about five hundred million euros a day.

With the E.U. bailout program due to expire in a week, the Syriza government was facing the prospect of a wholesale financial collapse if the European Central Bank didn’t agree to supply the Greek banking system with more money.

But the E.C.B. was telling Greece that it needed to agree to the terms laid down by Brussels and Berlin. Ultimately, this prompted Varoufakis and his boss, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, to back down and agree to an extension of the bailout.

ome Greek journalists warned that Varoufakis and Tsipras would have a tough time selling the deal to the party’s radical elements, which have been out on the streets protesting the perfidy of Germany, Brussels, and the E.C.B.

t is clear that Tsipras and Varoufakis overplayed their hand. Their early bluster riled up the Germans and alienated other players that they needed to win over, such as the E.C.B. and the European Commission.

Since Varoufakis is an academic game theorist, this is a bit surprising, but perhaps not entirely so. Having been swept into office practically out of nowhere, Syriza’s leaders were understandably giddy, and understandably eager to meet the demands of the popular protest movement that was responsible for their rise.

Once Wolfgang Schäuble, the flinty German finance minister, realized that Varoufakis couldn’t play the Grexit card, he knew that he had him where he wanted him. The German government point-blank refused even to consider a Greek request for an end to the bailout and a new bridging loan, and it quietly encouraged the E.C.B. to issue a series of warnings to the Greeks

The Cost Of Preserving Greece’s Place in the Eurozone

New York Times – Andrew Higgins

The “anti-austerity revolution” proclaimed by Syriza and its fans elsewhere, however, has now fizzled, its passions doused by the political reality that leaders in the rest of Europe do not want to join or, more important, finance the Greek-led revolt.

an agreement to extend Greece’s bailout for four months also committed it to honor fiscal targets and other conditions it had vowed to scrap and left intact the supervising role of the so-called troika — a trio of creditor bodies that Syriza wanted banished, viewing it as the hated symbol of their country’s subordination to so-called neo-liberal economic dogma.

Moreover, the finance ministers made clear that Greece will not get any more cash until it satisfies them it can keep a lid on spending, setting the stage for more tense negotiations in coming days and weeks.

Syriza still claimed victory, but few outside the party — and some within it — saw anything other than an abrupt halt to its iconoclastic vision of a “new deal” in which voters, not markets and Brussels technocrats, decide how money flows and on what terms.

Communist Tendency, a small far-left group inside Syriza, denounced the commitment as a betrayal of the working class and “submission to the blackmail of the troika.”

I think it is almost a total capitulation,” said Raoul Ruparel, the head of economic research at Open Europe, a research group in London. “Tsipras gambled on austerity fatigue in Europe and thought that by flying the flag for change lots of other countries would follow his lead. None did.”

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” a post on a website affiliated with Syriza said on Saturday. “This proposal equals, if not a U-turn towards the Memorandum, then the burial of any meaningful debt reduction and the freezing of even the most restrained measures in favor of the people that Alexis Tsipras had personally vowed to implement.”

SYRIZA Has Some ‘Splainin’ To Do

The Guardian

Germany’s finance minister, says that the radical left party Syriza will have some difficulty selling what is seen in some circles as Greek climbdown during Friday’s cliffhanger negotiations that tried to put an to end austerity.

Elected on an impossible mandate to renegotiate the country’s tough bailout terms and stay in the euro, Syriza now finds itself recommitting to austerity as the price of getting crucial loans extended for four months.

Without them, Greek banks would have collapsed. Mr Schäuble seems almost happy that the tieless Syriza leaders, shamelessly talking about reparations for the second world war, have had to confront “reality”.

The post World Press View: Overmatched Greece Snookered By EU appeared first on The National Herald.

Source: The National Herald
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