Turning a Page in Europe: The Greek Precedent

Alexis TsiprasGreek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reacts during a parliamentary session in Athens on July 16. The Greek parliament passed a sweeping package of austerity measures demanded by European partners in order to keep near-bankrupt country in the euro zone. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Lefteris Kretsos, the Greek government’s communications chief who is charged with justifying the deal to his fellow Greeks, was on CBC’s Sunday Edition yesterday (July 26). He made several points.

The Greek government accepted the austerity package because it had no choice. Bankruptcy and Grexit would have been disastrous. The government was elected to protect the interests of Greece’s working people. It has done so.

A number of cabinet ministers have resigned in protest. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must now rely on members of the opposition to pass legislation.

The government is determined to fight corruption and introduce real reforms.

The recent negotiations with the creditors were not so much about economics as about politics. “Brussels” pro-austerity governments are generally centre right. Tsipras’s Syriza party came to power on an anti-austerity platform and is left-wing.

Brussels wanted to “buy” Greece.

It is to be hoped that recent events will lead to fundamental reforms in the governance of the European Union and make it more democratic.

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2 responses to “Turning a Page in Europe: The Greek Precedent

  1. Michael Gundy

    While the outcomes of the Greek crisis will be ugly, to bring democracy into the discussion is absurd. Taking on debt is a willing contractual arrangement between two or more parties. It involves obligations, covenants and remedies. In the event that the debt is not honoured, those remedies come into effect. Very simple.

    No one “forced” Greece assume debt via politics, etc.

  2. I understand the sentiment that the borrower bears the blame for being in debt, but I also believe that the lender has some responsibilities.
    Greece has now found out to its cost that the only difference between a hallowed financial institution and a loan shark is one of scale.