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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/14/16

Grexit (1): A year after the 13 July EuroSummit, the nightmare goes on

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Austerity, poverty and morosity persist, as brains flee the country

Alexis Tsipras: a pillar of the European Far-Left in 2014.
Alexis Tsipras: a pillar of the European Far-Left in 2014.
(Image by Blömke/Kosinsky/Tschöpe, Author: See Source)
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At the referendum of 5 July 2015, close to two-thirds of the Greeks voted OXI (NO!), in reply to the question posed by the government of Alexis Tsipras: should we accept the bailout memorandum and the resulting therefrom austerity terms proposed by the group of ministers of finance of the Eurozone ('Eurogroup'), or reject it?

Rejection of the memorandum meant halting negotiations with Brussels, and most likely the exit from the common currency ('Grexit'). Grexit was a nightmarish perspective for the Europhile middle class, but quite desirable for the increasingly Eurosceptic working class.

A day later, the Greek PM adroitly gave to the result a diametrically opposed meaning. OXI should be interpreted as giving carte blanche to the government to return to the negotiations table!

And so, a week later, Tsipras returned to Brussels to face this time not the Eurozone ministers only, but the big guns--the heads of government or state of the 28 European Union member states, alias European Council ('EUCO').

In a marathon meeting that lasted non-stop from 12 July in the afternoon until the morning of 13 July, the Greek PM accepted the harsh conditions set by the EU member states and the loss of sovereignty in many areas of national governance in exchange for a larger, and heavier to support, funding package. He did not, however, succeed to persuade his partners to reduce the total debt Greece had contracted so far. (1)

The popular verdict of 5 July 2015 had been converted from "NO-we can't" to "YES! we will" --we will embrace austerity, misery and submission.


(1) For details on the Summit and the events that preceded and followed it, see click here

(2) More on the Summit click here

(Article changed on July 14, 2016 at 11:53)

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J N Couvas is an academic, journalist, and an international corporate and political adviser, specialising in Middle East and Balkan affairs. He teaches international strategy and executive leadership at universities in the region.

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