Thursday, September 24, 2015

Told you so. I: Greece

Photo by Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters, June 2011, via The Guardian.

So remember how the resignation of Alexis Tsipras as Greek prime minister was a disastrous defeat for Tsipras and the Greek left? Anybody?

I just want the record to show that I called the situation correctly a month ago, specifically explaining that Tispras's decision to call new elections was not a defeat but a move forward, to get rid of some of the opposition in his own party. This is exactly what happened: the 25 candidates of variously Eurocommunist, Trotskyist, and Maoist inclination of Syriza's Left Platform who split from the party to form the Popular Unity group were neither popular nor unified and not one of them made it into the new parliament.

Tsipras will now have a majority (in the continuing coalition with the obnoxious anti-immigrant Independent Greeks) of 155 out of 300 seats, with the difference from the old one that the new one will do what they're asked to do, which includes some awful things demanded by the European Union (more cuts, privatizations, and health care charges, though all less awful than what the EU wanted), and the all-important improvement of tax collection and recapitalization of banks. It's ugly, ugly, ugly, but it is a path around catastrophe.

I wonder by the way if Greece will get cut any slack by the European Union for its massive work in the protection of refugees, such a contrast with certain austerity-loving governments in Central Europe (Hungary's crypto-fascist PM Viktor Orbán suggests the military solution of sending EU troops to Greece to "defend their borders", hmm).

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