BERLIN—Europe’s standoff with Greece has thrown German Chancellor Angela Merkel into one of the deepest domestic political crises of her 10-year t...
This week the world watched as Greece continued its fight for economic survival. Armed with the Greek people's resounding "no" vote on yet another round of economy-killing austerity measures, Prime Minister Tsipras went back to the negotiating table with EU negotiators. But the rescue package he presented to the Greek Parliament on Friday was a mixed bag: while it includes fresh loans, it also comes with the kind of destructive elements -- like regressive taxes and pension cuts -- that already tanked the Greek economy. As the 28 EU leaders meet today, it's clear that Greece isn't fighting mindless austerity just for Greece, but also for the rest of Europe. The Greek public's bold stance has galvanized anti-austerity groups across Europe. It's like a proxy fight in a new cold war -- but this one isn't East vs. West, it's the failed past vs. a sustainable future.
ATHENS -- Tsipras can become a leader of stature and take the deal and side with the vast majority of Greeks on either side of the "Yes"/"No" divide to whom he has promised to remain in the euro and undertake the reforms Syriza has resisted. Alternatively, he can live a short moment of glory as a revolutionary by siding with a small minority of the "no" camp and turn the country into a failed state run by a new set of authoritarian oligarchs.
PARIS -- Ancient Greek had two words for the people: the "demos" of democracy and the "laos" of the mob. With his puerile call to shift the burden of his own errors and his reluctance to reform onto the shoulders of Greece's fellow Europeans, Tsipras is leaning toward the latter manifestation -- and promoting the worst version of Greek politics.