Only a mir­a­cle can save us

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY AN­GE­LOS STAN­GOS

Ex­hausted from the six-month tragi­com­edy of the SYRIZA-In­de­pen­dent Greeks coali­tion and fud­dled by the heat, Greeks who still have some sense of re­al­ity are await­ing the next act in the drama with some well-jus­ti­fied skep­ti­cism. Of course they felt a cer­tain re­lief when Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras signed – with a great deal of de­lay – the June 12 agree­ment, but the com­bi­na­tion of all the de­vel­op­ments that pre­ceded it and came af­ter have of­fered lit­tle cause for op­ti­mism. This is es­pe­cially the case when the same peo­ple who – ei­ther as the op­po­si­tion or as the ones in power – did ev­ery­thing they could to lead the coun­try to de­struc­tion, are now ex­pected to act ra­tio­nally, to see the light in the fi­nal hour. Even though they con­tinue to state that they do not be­lieve in the deal they signed and do not think the recipe is right for the coun­try, we are asked to be­lieve that they will im­ple­ment it. If they do – and let us hope this is the case – it will be noth­ing short of a mir­a­cle. If such a mir­a­cle oc­curs it will most likely be mainly due to other fac­tors and not the peo­ple who rep­re­sent the rea­son­able and tame part of SYRIZA – Tsipras and his back­ers. The mem­ory of their past per­for­mance is still raw. In fact, they con­tin­ued to keep that mem­ory alive with con­tra­dic­tory and lu­di­crous state­ments, as well as con­tin­u­ous dis­plays of in­ep­ti­tude even in ar­eas in which they would like to dis­tin­guish them­selves. The most bla­tant ex­am­ple is the abom­inable han­dling of the mi­grant cri­sis, with hun­dreds ar­riv­ing in Greece ev­ery day. Nev­er­the­less, and for rea­sons that some may un­der­stand, Tsipras re­mains pop­u­lar among a sig­nif­i­cant part of the public. In the mean­time, how­ever, Greece, in its tragic state, re­mains hostage to the in­ner-party rifts and de­vel­op­ments in SYRIZA and a prime min­is­ter who does not ap­pear to have any de­sire to dis­en­gage him­self from it all and run the coun­try. Judg­ing from the past, from the in­flu­ence that the Left Plat­form fac­tion and its leader Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis as well as other rad­i­cal fac­tions have had on defin­ing the party line, its rhetoric, its can­di­dates, its ap­point­ments (for ex­am­ple, Yanis Varoufakis and Zoe Con­stan­topoulou in two key posts), its stance to­ward the ne­go­ti­a­tions, its flawed un­der­stand­ing of how Europe works and the in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment and its com­plete ig­no­rance of eco­nom­ics, it is highly doubt­ful that the prime min­is­ter and his gov­ern­ment will be able to drag the coun­try out of the quag­mire. Which is why it will take a mir­a­cle.

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