On July 7, 2019 Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza Party completed the last of the steps mandated by the EU’s Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (MFFA), administered by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), by losing a general election.
After spending four years on hands and knees, Tsipras crawled out of the government palace and handed over the keys to the Prime Minister’s office to Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the New Democracy Party.
Tsipras’ job was done. GDP down 25 percent, pension payments down 40 percent, 400,000 young people gone– emigrating to lands of greater opportunity like….Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy– the MFFA had never been so secure.
The crowd applauding Tsipras on the way out was not the crowd that had applauded Tsipras on the way in. Gone were the game theorists, the movie reviewers, the erudite bloggers, the neo, semi, soft, sort of Marxists. Particularly conspicuous in their absence were the cheerleading team of Panitch and Gindin who had wowed the newly elected Syriza parliamentarians back in 2015 by doing the splits in their matching pink outfits.
No matter, though, there were others with heartier handshakes and bigger wallets to mark the occasion. Juncker, Trichet, Draghi, Merkel and the ghost of Margaret Thatcher looking every inch as she did when alive, that is to say cadaverous, welcomed Tsipras into their ranks.
“You’re one of us now,” said the two Jean-Claudes in munchkin sing-song. “We’ve got a job for you in Brussels.”
“I always was. One of you, I mean,” said Tsipras. “That job in Brussels, does a pension come with it? The pension I get as an ex-PM isn’t enough to buy a decent gyro.”
The burden of office lifted from his shoulders, Tsipras attempted to stand, but found he couldn’t stay upright without assistance.
July 11, 2019
For detailed analysis of the (defeated) struggle in Greece see The Wolf Report, January through July 2015.