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Europe chooses #Greekment over cries of #ThisIsACoup

Europe chooses #Greekment over cries of #ThisIsACoup


Greece and its European creditors set the wheels in motion for new bailout

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Donald Tusk / Twitter

After 17 hours in a marathon Euro Summit overnight, Europe's leaders have finally thrashed out a deal that sets Greece on a path to financial recovery. Or such is the hope, anyhow. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spent the weekend negotiating with fellow Eurozone heads of government in Brussels, where Sunday was set as the deadline for agreeing terms to resume negotiations for a new bailout for the already twice-bailed-out country. Those terms have now been agreed, and the threat of a Grexit — Greece exiting the Euro currency — appears to have been averted.

The particular details of the deal are still filtering out, but the buildup to the decision was filled with apprehension, which found expression through a pair of trending hashtags on Twitter: #ThisIsACoup and #TsiprasLeaveEUSummit. New York Times economist Paul Krugman endorsed the former hashtag in a withering essay on Sunday criticizing the "pure vindictiveness [and] complete destruction of national sovereignty" inherent in the proposed measures. Those hashtags have been succeeded by #Greekment as the prevailing topic in Greece's social channels, following the announcement of an "a-Greek-ment" by European Council leader Donald Tusk. Still, the sentiment expressed hasn't changed: the feeling is that Tsipras is capitulating to his creditors' demands in order to get any sort of deal done.

The Greek Parliament is now expected to legislate swiftly to codify the proposed reforms into law and thus speed the introduction of new European financial support for the country's economy. The present negotiations have been colored by a great deal of mistrust and resentment, both of which were fueled by Tsipras' sudden decision to break off talks a couple of weeks ago and hand the decision over to his people in a referendum. The Greeks emphatically rejected the previous reform package that was proposed, with parties in the streets of Athens underlining their unwillingness to be bullied by the continent's wealthier nations. It's a minor miracle that Greece's creditors have now agreed on a new package of reforms and financial aid following that show of rebellion, but it appears that European solidarity has prevailed over petty politics.

As important a decision as this is for the future stability of Greece (and Europe in general), the approval of the Greek people is still required. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed his confidence that a Grexit is no longer a threat and that the Greek Parliament will indeed follow through with its promises. But if Tsipras has indeed compromised on many of the issues that his voters told him not to, how effective will the new legislation be? The Greek saga continues.