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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 30th, 2015 at 11:33:51 AM EST
From the Jacobin Magazine: The Restoration of Dignity (6.30.15)
Papandreou argued that a "yes" vote on the terms of the agreed program would soothe the rising tensions in Greek society and create much-needed consensus for the "reforms" that the Greek government had agreed to undertake.

The key eurozone players insisted that the only option on the table was an "in/out" referendum on Greece's membership in the eurozone and the European Union (EU). Faced with a rebellion in his party, Papandreou shelved the referendum plan, conceded defeat, and resigned. The ensuing coalition government ratified the catastrophic agreements, deepening the economic crisis and further diminishing Greece's bargaining power.

so far, so good.
On Sunday it was time for a new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to gamble on a referendum. The government's decision has nothing in common with the 2011 moment. Papandreou's referendum proposal was the ultimate blackmail of an entrapped leader, seeking to "gag" the electorate by equating the bailout terms with Greece's membership in the eurozone.
But that's a contradition to the above! Papandreou was not seeking to equate the bailout with Greece's membership. That was the response of the Euro leaders, and Papandreou caved in because he didn't have his party behing him.

So there is more of a parallel between Papandreou's and Tsipras' referendums than the author wants to allow.

In fact, if the Troika had proposed to Varoufakis a "decent" deal but which would be a hard sell with the Syriza hard-left faction, Tsipras might have again called a referendum and asked for a 'yes' vote. And then there might have been a repeat. The problem for the creditors was that, while they appeared to be aiming to "split Syriza" they didn't offer an acceptable deal to the "moderate" Syriza faction. So they overplayed their hand. And when Tsipras recommends a "no" vote, saying the "no" is on the EU and not on the agreement is again an everreaction on the part of the creditors in a way that it wasn't with Papandreou's "yes" recommendation.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 30th, 2015 at 11:52:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see lots of "VSP" but also lots of people who should know better (often in finance or economics) pretending that Tsipras has messed up the negotiations.

None of them seem to grasp the history - we arrived here because the EU was unable to offer a deal that works (as opposed to one that caused a depression) to previous "more reasonable" Greek governments.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Jul 1st, 2015 at 05:58:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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