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.
As the crisis continues to unfold, Greece's ancient past should serve not as fashionable rhetoric alone, but as a deep spur to reflection and progress. Truly engaging with the classical could still be a powerful part of the solution as we take lessons from the past to imagine a better future for Greece and for us all.
ATHENS -- Tsipras appeared triumphant to greet his voters last night. What kind of a triumph it is remains puzzling. A few meters away from the victorious prime minister in Syntagma Square, the heart of Greece, the ATMs stand dark and empty. "It's sad to admit that we see darker days than before, darker even than during the dictatorship," I heard an old woman saying while queuing to get money a few days ago. "Back then there was political discontent but no poverty. Now we have both."
So it's Berlin and Paris. Once again so close and yet so far. Once again European history will move along the red line that unites these two national capitals. There's nothing to be done for those who, like our Italian Premier, believed as recently as five days ago to have established a special relationship with the Chancellor of Europe.