or: The revolution was nothing but a bad joke
by Mark Linnhoefer
Tsirpas won again. Another election that saw the win of a left-wing party. Yet, I am not feeling enthusiastic or stoked or even remotely happy. “A victory of the people”, Tsirpas calls it. I’m not buying it.
We all know what happened by now: the left-wing party Syriza was elected on an anti-bailout platform, and teamed up with the right-wing Independent Greeks to advance their anti-reform stance. Some back and forth with creditors and European officials ensued, ultimately leading to the Greek government agreeing to bailout reforms. This agreement led to a split in the leftist party that forced Tsirpas to resign and gamble on being re-elected to go through with his plans on accepting the bailout reforms.
Well, now he got re-elected, and now he’s already appointed two negotiators for the bailout reforms to assure European partners that the ‘new’ Greek government keeps its promises and adheres to reforms in exchange for the bailout funds.
One of the appointed is Euclid Taskalotos, a Marxist economist, who is also part of a fraction dubbed ‘53+’ that is worried that Syriza is deviating from its core values just to stay in power and might as such be a positive influence during negotiations with creditors and implementation of the reforms. Although he is currently quite the opposite of Varoufakis and has been cooperating extremely well with creditors so far, I do hope that he might yet steer Greece away from austerity measures in a more subtle, smarter way.
Another appointment is Nicos Kotzias as foreign minister. Kotzias used to be in the Communist youth and is one of the few appointed who said that that the country is falling prey to foreign interests.
Despite the few people appointed by Tsirpas that still carry some of the original spirit of the would-be revolution in them, the whole thing has become a farce, a bad joke, a mockery of what it could have been. Syriza has caved in to the very demands that they had promised not to fulfill during the first election, and so exposed the very worst of human nature – the greed that comes with power, the compromise that arises through pressure, and the inherent corruption of the human spirit nowadays.
Ideals forgotten, deals made, compromises reached. Great for the diplomatic relations, but bad for the people. Optimism for the markets, pension and wage cuts for the people. Well done, Tsirpas, well done.