Only a miracle can save us
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.