Greek deal: This Is NOT a Coup

Whether the Syriza-led government of Greece survives its own domestic democratic pressures remains to be seen following the deal struck at the Eurozone summit yesterday – in the end the 28 EU leaders didn’t have to meet…  The Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis notes one possible scenario

Analysts at Eurasia Group suspect Greece could soon head towards a national unity government, if many government MPs refuse to back the bailout deal on Wednesday night.

If Tsipras loses his majority and potentially even more support than he did on Saturday, it makes no sense for him to try and reshuffle the government.

In this case, he will instead likely choose to offer his and the support of the remaining Syriza MP’s towards a special purpose national unity government, but one which he will not head.

And that administration would sign off on a third bailout, overseeing some initial implementation, and then probably disband for elections in a few months’ time, “probably by autumn but certainly before December”.

At which point the ‘deal’ will have been done.  If not, Grexit.

In the meantime, the same live-blog helpfully relates how the hashtag #ThisIsACoup went viral – which may, or may not, have contributed to the misunderstanding of some…  From the Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis

The call went out on Sunday afternoon. “Hi guys, this is an important message about Greece,” wrote an activist named Francesca in a text message to 40 people, including members of Spain’s Indignado movement and leftist coalition party Barcelona en Comú.

She continued:

“These guys meeting now in the Eurogroup, they all have twitter handles, they deserve to be told by the world to do a deal with Tsipras and stop trying to overthrow him,”

Minutes later, the hashtag #ThisIsACoup was born in Barcelona. It quickly shot to the top of trending lists around the world, including Germany and Greece, sparking a social media backlash against Germany and its finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, over the draconian list of demands being forced on the Greek government in return for a third bailout.

The hashtag was first attributed to a physics teacher in Barcelona, who clarified on Monday that it was a collective campaign.

Shortly after, those behind the campaign published a declaration, explaining their motivations. “#ThisIsACoup may have started in Barcelona, but it resonated around the world because it expressed a common sense of impotence of citizens in the face of globalised financial powers,” they wrote.

“We decided to support Francesca’s call to launch an online campaign to support the democratic will of the Greek people in the face of extortion by the EuroGroup in its negotiations with Syriza,” the statement continued.

“The scandalous Eurogroup proposals yesterday made last night the ideal moment to create a hashtag to express and, above all, coordinate, our outrage at the extortion the Greek government and its people were being subject to.”

The hashtag was a nod to the Egyptian hashtag #NotACoup, that trended in 2013.

“We’ve learned how to mobilise online from our counterparts of the Arab Spring and from our own experiences of occupying the squares of Spain.”

But, as regular Slugger readers will be aware, “…complex issues cannot always be addressed via online petitions.

[As any fule kno… – Ed]

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  • Mister_Joe

    It’s fairly easy to see why some people consider it to be like a coup. The other EURO leaders seemed determined to punish Tsypras for his impertinence of calling the referendum and they have succeeded. It seems impossible for him to remain as PM for much longer.

  • Brian Walker

    Pete, It’s good to challenge the power of Twitter.The past was a much worse place. 40 years ago, I sat on a rock on a Greek island with one of the locals who, gesturing towards the mountains on the mainland, told me how the Communists sailed over to his island and cut the throats of his relatives. I have other memories of being slated by refugees from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus for Britain standing by and letting it happen, and then covering the first elections in a decade which followed the subsequent collapse of the Colonels’ pathetic and violent regime.

    So far this time, fingers crossed, Greek democracy and society have not collapsed. Austerity is at least better than what prevailed most of the time from 1941 to 1975 and indeed long before,such as when the Greeks though they could build an empire on the Turkish mainland in 1920-22 and suffered near -genocide. .

    On the deal I’m somewhere in the middle. Democracy is about
    more than victimhood, it’s about taking responsibility. Because we really really want something from somebody else doesn’t mean they have to give it to us. This is the Violent Elizabeth Bott school of politics who lisped the threat: “I’ll Scream and scream and scream until I’m sick.” (And actually Plato’s criticism of democracy and Thucydides’ account of it are the probably the greater legacy than Athenian populist democracy itself, with its built-in imperial overstretch that was doomed to fail eventually).

    On the other hand lenders share the blame for a E 320 billion Greek debt and should take a bigger haircut – were it not for the threat of contagion and the effect on even poorer economies in the east. Germany is playing hard cop, ignoring the generous treatment it received after WW2. Small wonder loose talk is being thrown around claiming that Germany has won the clear dominance in Europe by financial muscle what it was denied by force of arms. But I’d prefer Frau Merkel to the other guy any day.

  • Zig70

    I’d agree with you Brian that the bank bear some not all responsibility for the bad loans. But let’s remember that the loans were justified because they(banks) sold on the risk cheaply. Add to that, the banks have already written off their loses by this stage. The other thing that bothers me is the talk of Greek banks collapsing, what Greek banks? I believe the government has a 35% stake in one bank. The rest are part of multinationals, you can cross the border and take £100 out of the same bank. There could be months in this yet. Twitter is good to give the impression of a voice to those of us who think this stinks.

  • Gopher

    I mentioned in an earlier thread that I believed Greek rejection of the previous deal would lead to a loss of soveriegnty and it now appears to be the case. National Assets administered for disposal by the EU. Bit like the French occupying the Ruhr after WWI to ensure reparations were paid. Greeks bluffed and lost badly. I also get the feeling that Germany is keen to get back to Bismarckian diplomacy and after this taste of victory will quite enjoy it. France never factored in a unified Germany when they came up with the idea of the EU. Hollande is dead President walking now.