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  • Editorial: The price of betrayed hopes

    Citizens’ assessment of the administration of Mr. Tsipras and his fellow-travelers led them to an absolute denunciation of the government.

    FOR STORY GREECE STUCK IN CRISIS PHOTO GALLERY - In this photo taken on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras speaks to his supporters after his election victory outside Athens University Headquarters. Anyone hoping Greece might finally have a quiet year was quickly disappointed in 2015. Brinkmanship with bailout lenders brought the country a half-step from financial collapse and eurozone exit, while Greece was at the center of Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

    The transformation of the political map of Greece after the run-offs in regional and municipal elections on 2 June is stunning.

    There has not been such a crushing electoral defeat for a ruling party in decades.

    Despite the unconvincing explanation of various top SYRIZA cadres in the last few days that citizens did not realise exactly what they were voting for, the electoral results belied them and confirmed beyond any doubt that the Greek people made a conscious and clear choice.

    Citizens’ assessment of the administration of Mr. Tsipras and his fellow-travelers led them to an absolute denunciation of the government.

    That is due to the fact that it did not rise to the occasion in grappling with problems and that it belied the false hopes which it cultivated in order to rise to power.

    The government’s works and days demonstrated its incompetence, its spitefulness, and its undemocratic mentality.

    SYRIZA’s self-proclaimed moral advantage, its promise of a renewal in Greek politics, and its putative social sensitivities were judged and renounced in an explosive manner.

    The collapse of the ruling party in local societies was overwhelming.

    SYRIZA won fewer than a dozen mayoral contests and in cases in which it backed non-SYRIZA candidates they received mostly a single-digit percentage of the vote.

    It became clear that SYRIZA’s meteoric rise to power was simply the result of a confluence of events, its vulgar exploitation of the crisis, and the scornful stance of citizens toward larger political parties and politicians that prevailed at that time.

    SYRIZA was swept to power on a wave of protest but never managed to take root in society.

    It divided the people, insulted their intelligence, and tampered with institutions to the very end.

    Despite its forced adjustment to the realities, the government failed to exploit opportunities that arose for the country and proved unable to give the necessary impetus to the economy.

    The government had an enormous opportunity to transcend the ills of the old political system, but it chose instead to copy the worst practices of old-party politics.

    Citizens who gave the ruling party this opportunity in the end realised that the government’s only aim was to wield power. Now they are making it pay the piper.

    The “hope is coming” slogan that SYRIZA repeated as a mantra in its 2015 campaign never panned out.

    Quite naturally, therefore, the majority of citizens decided in a resounding manner to pin their hopes elsewhere.

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