Gam­bling for sta­bil­ity

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

tions might just lead to the de­sired calm. The signs, how­ever, do not al­low much op­ti­mism. The way Tsipras ap­pealed to the peo­ple for help in the July 5 ref­er­en­dum, only to ig­nore its re­sult a few days later, sug­gests that this time too he is choos­ing a dra­matic, ex­ces­sive ges­ture in or­der to get out of an im­passe, turn­ing his per­sonal dis­com­fort into a mat­ter of na­tional im­port. Be­fore the ref­er­en­dum, he had forced na­tional elec­tions to be held on Jan­uary 25 – as his re­fusal to sup­port any can­di­date for the pres­i­dency of the re­pub­lic caused dead­lock and drove the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment to re­sign. Af­ter the elec­tion, Tsipras and his SYRIZA party found them­selves in an eco­nomic dead end. Very lit­tle sug­gests that this third round of bal­lot- ing in eight months will re­sult in a gov­ern­ment ca­pa­ble of un­der­stand­ing the coun­try’s prob­lems and of man­ag­ing them suc­cess­fully. Tsipras has found him­self in one dead end af­ter another. His pol­icy of con­flict with cred­i­tors brought Greece to the brink of bank­ruptcy and exit from the euro. Think­ing that the ref­er­en­dum could help him avoid the con­se­quences of the im­passe in ne­go­ti­a­tions, he came to another dead end and re­al­ized at last that it was his re­spon­si­bil­ity to avoid eco­nomic catas­tro­phe. He was forced to make a great U-turn, which, how­ever, brought him into con­flict with mem­bers of his own party, re­sult­ing in the loss of his coali­tion’s par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity. Tsipras’s choices – all dif­fi­cult – were to con­tinue

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