Spiegel against the Greek government: ‘Hard landing for the populists’

Spiegel against the Greek government: ‘Hard landing for the populists’

Athens, February 12, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

“Hard landing (to reality) for the populists” is the title of the comment in the online version of the magazine Der Spiegel, which refers to the negotiation tactics of the Tsipras government. “(…) Varoufakis might know the theory well (of games), but in practice it barely shows. The wide European tour after the victory of SYRIZA was, based on the result, a lesson on how not to negotiate”. As noted by the commentator, Varoufakis’ threat regarding the end of the eurozone did not seem to touch any interlocutor in European capitals, since even in case of an exit of Greece from the euro, the fear of collapse of the rest of the eurozone has been reduced significantly.

According to Spiegel, «the SYRIZA’s plan is not going to pay off, despite the hasty meetings of the Eurogroup. The new Greek government has already abandoned the claim for mowing and will soon have to show the same flexibility in the promise it made for the end of the aid package. Neither will they be able to abolish or revoke the reforms. This in principle is bad for the credibility of SYRIZA. But it could be good for the credibility of Europe, if those responsible in Brussels, Berlin or Paris use their power for a policy towards Greece that will not be in the category of black-white.

The anger of the people that led to the victory of SYRIZA is of course realistic and not only confined to Greece. All Europe needs a policy for the future which will focus more on reforms and development and not only cuts – a less humiliating supervision of the Troika for Greece would be a first step. Similarly, the close cooperation between Brussels and SYRIZA to finally force the rich tax evaders to put their hand in their pocket and a reduction of corruption could be a model for other countries with poor governance structures, but also prove that the protest movements can achieve much more with the rest of Europe through cooperation than through direct confrontation”.

The latest developments also comments the Suddeutsche Zeitung of Munich, which notes in particular in substance it is not impossible to find compromise formulas on all issues that currently divide Athens and Brussels. “(…) The Greeks do not want to use the term ‘assistance program’? No problem. It can be replaced by the ‘new deal’. (…) If the Greek people do not want to see more bureaucrats from troika, then the meetings can be held in Brussels. Or even online. Or the composition of the Troika can change. The achievement of a compromise therefore should not stumble due to the lack of experience in negotiations. But it can fail due to national or partisan selfishness. This must end. Merkel understands that a possible Greek exit from the euro would have unforeseen consequences. This knowledge also led in 2012 to keep Athens in. In this respect, nothing has changed. Tsipras should stop playing the Greek hero. Europe is not an enlarged Greece, but a community of 28 states with interests and obligations. There remain only a few days for European consensus to bring an end to Greek drama”.

The newspaper Die Welt refers to the Greek request for payment of war reparations. Describing the history of the case, the paper concludes the following observation: “The Greeks should not have high hopes that their claims will be accepted. The aim is rather to put Germany on the stand for ethical reasons. The aim is to finally drive Berlin to erase the debt of the Greeks. In this case Athens would typically considered issue of reparations closed”.