A revolutionary’s impossible dreams
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who has been assisting Greek efforts lately, is very likely to leave his position after elections take place in the Netherlands. French President Francois Hollande is already powerless and in a few weeks will be a retired politician in everything but name. Europe will enter a cycle of elections which will further complicate decisions on Greece’s debt. Tsipras realizes that any debt relief package that could be announced immediately would be hard to sell to public opinion. This would include substantive technical configurations that would leave voters with slashed salaries and pensions largely unmoved. Meanwhile, Tsipras is watching the opinion polls and feels that his political room for maneuvering is narrowing. It would be very difficult to give something meaningful to the other side without some SYRIZA inner-party friction. All of this is happening while the mood in Europe is darkening ahead of the Italian referendum. Based on this, the Greek premier’s leaning toward the utopian fantasies of his revolutionary youth can be explained. Tsipras found himself going from his Kaisariani “oath” – laying flowers at the Kaisariani National Resistance Memorial on the day he was sworn in as PM – to his bailout “oath,” following a paranoid referendum. I can just imagine people close to him sharing this sense of major defeat, possibly even telling him that he was wrong to get involved in a game he couldn’t win.