Un­re­pen­tant dream­ers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY AN­GE­LOS STAN­GOS

State Min­is­ter Alekos Flam­bouraris yesterday ad­mit­ted that the SYRIZA-led gov­ern­ment was wrong to ex­pect that the Euro­peans would yield in the face of their left­ist man­date – he was ob­vi­ously re­fer­ring to the out­come of the gen­eral elec­tion and the bailout ref­er­en­dum. He added that the gov­ern­ment had also mis­cal­cu­lated the po­ten­tial of the coun­tries of the Euro­pean South to re­sist. Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Yian­nis Dra­gasakis said on Mon­day that Greece was wrong to threaten its Euro­pean part­ners with a euro exit. Dra­gasakis added that ex­pec­ta­tions global mar­kets would panic at the prospect of a Grexit were also wrong. On the same day, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras said that Athens had mis­cal­cu­lated the bal­ance of power and so on. Of course, they and other SYRIZA of­fi­cials ad­mit that the mem­o­ran­dum signed by the gov­ern­ment is a far cry from the leg­endary “Thes­sa­loniki pro­gram,” the party’s anti-bailout pre-elec­tion man­i­festo. All those con­ces­sions have been made in an un­usu­ally calm man­ner, which tends to gen­er­ate well-mean­ing thoughts along the lines of: “Their in­ten­tions were good, but in the end it sim­ply did not work. There’s noth­ing we can do now. Let’s just move on.” But that is a mis­take which must be avoided. Even talk about the pop­u­lar will or the abil­ity of the Euro­pean South point to their per­sis­tent dis­con­nect with re­al­ity. Other Euro­pean gov­ern­ments also rely on a pop­u­lar man­date. There was never a ques­tion of cre­at­ing a front made up of South­ern Euro­pean states. In ad­di­tion, it is known that by virtue of join­ing the Euro­pean Union, and es­pe­cially by sign­ing up to the Maas­tricht Treaty, all coun­tries agree to give up part of their sovereignty for the sake of deeper Euro­pean in­te­gra­tion. One key ques­tion that gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials need to an­swer is: Was there any­thing that they did right af­ter all their pre­dic­tions were proved wrong? For any un­bi­ased ob­server, their dis­mal fail­ure to come up with any sound pre­dic­tion can only be ex­plained in one of three ways. Ei­ther they are in­ept, or they are liars, or both, for it is hard to be­lieve that their pre­dic­tions were so far off the mark given the tons of com­men­tary and anal­y­sis that warned them against their ac­tions. On the other hand, it was their phony ex­pec­ta­tions that brought them to power. Un­re­pen­tant, they keep dream­ing of the Thes­sa­loniki pro­gram as if they de­served to re­ceive some kind of vin­di­ca­tion for their end­less pledges or fan­tasies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.