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Greece has irretrievably entered the spiral of catastrophe

06 July 2015 / 12:07:43  GRReporter
2263 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

61.31% of Greeks voted NO in yesterday’s referendum, responding to the call of the government "not to bow to blackmailing." Several hours later, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the nation and announced that he would ask President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to convene a meeting of the leaders of political parties to define a national strategy in the negotiations with creditors. Earlier today, Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis resigned to facilitate the cabinet attempts to reach an agreement, as he wrote on his personal blog.

The latest political developments have revived the hopes of many Greeks that the government aims to agree with creditors. Others however argue that they are just another episode of the series of unsuccessful attempts that started five months ago.

Greek writer and commentator Petros Papasarantopoulos explains for GRReporter why Athens cannot reach an agreement with its European partners and if any is possible.

Mr. Papasarantopoulos, how would you comment on the landslide victory of the negative vote in yesterday's referendum?

It was not a big surprise to me because I have stated since the beginning of the crisis that besides the economic crisis, there is a huge crisis of stereotypes, ideas and positions in Greece. It has developed a mentality of imaginary escape from reality. The majority of our citizens are living in an unreal world, refusing to accept the facts.

Yesterday’s referendum clearly reflected this refusal to accept the facts, reality and the balance of powers. A large number of Greek citizens believe the country could be part of the euro zone without complying with the obligations arising from such an agreement.

This is an illusion and the leftist and right-wing populists of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks are taking advantage of it but I fear we will pay very dearly for it.

What does the victory of the NO vote mean for Greece and its future?

I am an absolute pessimist and I sincerely hope that my assessment is wrong. I think that the meaning of SYRIZA’s existence is only the creation of conflicts and invention of enemies. Therefore, any attempt to reach a compromise with Europe essentially cancels the meaning of its existence.

This party needs conflict, as a conservatory. European integration and the euro zone are based on compromise. These two formations are mutually exclusive. My forecast is that the talks would lead nowhere. The government would cause a rupture with creditors and Greece would return to the drachma.

How could this victory affect the composition of the cabinet? What would its future be?

Taking into account everything said previously, I think that no government reshuffle could influence the course to imminent death. I believe Greece is being led to a deadlock and to the most serious catastrophe in its history after the Civil War.

How would you comment on the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis hours after the victory of the NO vote in the referendum that, logically, should have given give wings to the government?

I will answer as an exception, because I think that dealing with the "Varoufakis" phenomenon on the part of a serious person, as I think I am or at least strive to be, leads nowhere. Political science and political analysis are not able to understand the case of Yanis Varoufakis. The fact that he is leaving is positive for me, in the sense that a crazy variable in the system will disappear. But on the other hand, it does not make me optimistic.

How do you think this course to disaster that you described could stop?

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop it.

Do you mean that Greece has no alternative at present?

At least I cannot see any. In my opinion, Greece has entered the spiral of catastrophe. There is no turning back on this road. We are entering a huge adventure that will last for decades.

Tags: PoliticsReferendumNegotiations with creditorsReturn to the drachmaPetros Papasarantopoulos
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