Mr. Tsipras’ hard game

Last Friday the new-elected Tsipras-Kammenos government came to blows with the troika and cast major doubt over Germany…

Mr. Tsipras’ hard game |

Last Friday the new-elected Tsipras-Kammenos government came to blows with the troika and cast major doubt over Germany.

At first the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ comments and then those of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis towards the Dutch chief of the Eurogroup Mr. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, made Athens stance quite clear.

The message was clean, clear and aggressive at the same time: “We do not recognize the troika because it is extra-institutional, nor will we debate the previous program because the Greek people voted against it”.

They later clarified that “we will only talk to the European Union’s institutional authorities for a bridge program of reforms, measures and policies which will support the goal of primary balanced budgets, with smaller surpluses though, so that resources can be diverted to managing the humanitarian crisis and supporting growth”.

Disputing the financial policy that has been observed so far is a direct strike against the prevailing beliefs in the Berlin-dominated Europe and does not allow much room for negotiations with Chancellor Merkel and her subordinate Wolfgang Schauble. That is how the majority of European and international media viewed this, thus creating a rather unfavorable climate for the new Greek government.

Already in Germany they are describing Mr. Tsipras as a threat to Europe, claiming that his choices will destroy the county and bring even harder times for its people, without anyone being in the position to predict the out and ultimate cost.

The isolated bankers are already preparing for the worst, as they sense the reaction from the markets and expect to be excluded from the European Central Bank’s funding.

Understandably then, the question arises whether Mr. Tsipras and Mr. Varoufakis are aware of the dangers or if they have any guarantee that they will come out victorious from such a major clash with the tough Central Europeans/

Mr. Tsipras believes that Europe cannot ignore the fresh mandate of the Greek people, nor can he deny a new plan to address the crisis, which will be based on reforms, will guarantee fiscal stability, will encourage growth in Greece and will cover the needs of the most destitute Greeks.

Additionally, he does not believe that he is alone in this war.

He counts on the expressed support of the Americans, he expects support from the French and Italians and he hopes in a pan-European wave of solidarity from social and spiritual forces that consider the current European policy to be catastrophic and a much greater threat than his doubt of Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin.

Above all though, he deeply believes that the Greek people are with him, that for the first time the Greek people saw their government truly negotiate and stand up against the catastrophic policies of the past four years. That way he deflects the fears and concerns developing in the country and stresses than in the end he will win the hard political poker game that he began with our partners.

One could say that is an apologist of the doctrine that wants conflict to precede an honest compromise. So long that the conflict is not completely catastrophic for us.

Antonis Karakousis

Originally published in the Sunday print edition

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