With his by now well known habit of shifting responsibility and constantly attacking the dread media, Mr. Tsipras thought he could shake off his responsibility for auctions of foreclosed properties.
Having stirred mayhem with the “won’t pay” movement while still in the opposition, he now discovers that the problem that bedevils the banking system concerns those with big debts and strategically delinquent debtors, who bankrupted their businesses and took their money abroad.
Unfortunately for the prime minister, the problem does not involve only those categories. It is much broader. Certainly, that is not the fault of the media, but of intractable realities.
Even protection of debtors’ primary residences has limits, in terms of what is protected and until when. The prime minister and his cabinet know this very well, as do the bankers that he threatens and the citizens who are threatened by foreclosure.
After all, the assets of citizens who do not pay their debts, either due to inability or purposely, are not threatened only by banks.
When over one million people have had assets seized, why should they be persuaded by Mr. Tsipras when he maintains that the problem is a few hundred big debtors, and not the hundreds of thousands who are on the firing line?
Everyone knows that if the banking system does not resolve the non-performing loans problem, it cannot survive. As many orders as Mr. Tsipras may issue, there is a specific situation and specific agreements he has signed with the country’s creditors.
The fairy tale that the media is to blame for everything does not sell any more, not even among his party comrades.
The observation of the internal opposition, the so-called group of 53, in its last declaration is noteworthy. “One hears the view that those who criticise the government undermine it in some way. We are convinced of the opposite. A critical stance towards aspects of government policy bears only positive results.”
It is not the job of the media to praise those in power, but to exercise criticism, even harsh criticism, of its errors and omissions, and the Syriza government has plenty of errors, omissions, and opportunistic reversals.