Mr. Tsipras may not, as he said, have gone to Kastelorizo to deliver an address to the nation, but he seized the opportunity anyway. He blamed his predecessor who went to the border island to prettify, as he said, the poorly designed plans of the memorandum, but he forgot his role in enforcing it. Eight years later, he promised, we are leaving the difficulties behind and we are in the final stretch to a clean exit from bailout programmes’ strict supervision.
However, the future does not appear as rosy as the prime minister depicted it. We may be completing the bailout programme, but we are not leaving the difficulties behind, and we will not be free of close supervision. Unfortunately for the suffering citizenry, the path to a definitive and clean exit will be long and hard.
Even Syriza MPs like Nikos Filis admit it, and are deconstructing the PM’s success story. He said we are going nowhere without relief from debt and high primary surpluses. He said that there are two basic questions as we approach the end of the memorandums: whether there will be even gradual convergence with other EU economies and whether there will be a gradual reduction of inequalities.
There are pervasive doubts on the part of the Europeans, as the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine wrote. It described the Greek government’s hopes for an increase in investment and for a robust Greek economy any time soon as dreams. “The path toward the normalisation of Greece, which perpetually confronts the abyss, will be long and hard,” it wrote.
Televised addresses on remote islands may serve Mr. Tsipras’ designs, but reality is a far cry from clever words and platitudinous promises. There is an opportunity that lies ahead, after the end of the memorandum, which will be equally difficult to manage, due to the irresponsibility and inadequacy of the political leadership.
We are the only country that was subjected to memorandums for so many years, because the political system – and first of all the current PM – behaved opportunistically and irresponsibly. We paid dearly for that lack of trust and it appears we will continue to do so, because our creditors continue to doubt their sense of consequences and responsibility.