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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La leçon d’Athènes

by Jean-Paul Piérot

Athens’ lesson

Translated Monday 28 September 2015, by Adrian Jordan

Editorial by Jean-Paul Piérot. "The Greek people have still not finished giving Europe a lesson on mature politics."

The Greek people have still not finished giving Europe a lesson on mature politics. In renewing their confidence in Syriza, they have dowsed the hopes of the right and EU leaders, of seeing the end of what they called the “Tsipras digression”. A victory for Nea Demokratia, even if obtained by default, in a backdrop of despair, would have been interpreted as a victory for Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble, and for all those who were set on humiliating the Greek people. A defeat for Alexis Tsipras, would have been, for whatever reasons of discontent among left voters, a sort of legitimation of the financial coup d’état, in the eyes of those who plotted against him. Could one have imagined the asphyxiation at the hands of ECB - the closing of banks retrospectively approved by the electorate precisely because they wanted to sanction their government for not having opposed the diktat at the eurozone countries’ summit on 13 July? It was disregard for the reality of the social and humanitarian devastation undergone by poor families, pensioners and of youths denied employment - under direction from the troika prior to 25 January - which saw the victory of the anti-austerity left.

Alexis Tsipras threw himself into five months of negotiations with European leaders against a merciless reality: an aversion to democratic debate. Not only did they not take account of the 5 July referendum, but embarked upon the politics of retaliation. Syriza itself did not come out unscathed by the trauma the country suffered. Therefore, returning to electors proved the best way to resolve the situation, to gauge the will of the Greek people in continuing the fight. This was a courageous choice – honest, and appreciated by voters who understood that behind their anger over the debt, EU leaders ultimately had only one objective – make the government fall. And they foiled these tactics.


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