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Opinion

Opinion: Tsipras chose ideology over his people

The Eurogroup finance ministers decided to show the Greek government the door after all its provocations and broken promises. They had no other choice, according to Barbara Wesel.

By the end, the finance ministers of the Eurogroup needed no more than two hours to show their Greek counterpart the door. Yanis Varoufakis could find no one else to listen to him. Instead, the 18 other members of the currency union drew the consequences of the actions of his government.

Up until then, they had shown Athens Buddhist levels of patience, and allowed themselves to be dragged back to Brussels five times in 10 days, only to meet the inflexibility of the radical group from Greece. Alexis Tsipras and his ministers seemed to think they could not only lead the Eurogroup round the circus, but impose their own will on it. Or did the prime minister and his Syriza party not want a result at all? The majority of the finance ministers came to the conclusion that Athens had gone too far, and finally ended the ongoing drama. And it was high time!

Shamelessness as a political method

After the summit in Brussels, the German chancellor had called on Athens to accept the creditors' latest offer, which she described as "exceptionally generous." A few hours later, the answer came from Alexis Tsipras, who announced a referendum on Greek TV, and recommended that his people dismiss the offer.

Barbara Wesel Kommentarbild App *PROVISORISCH*

DW's Barbara Wesel

Diplomatically speaking, direct democracy is pretty much the biggest act of shamelessness imaginable. Because that same afternoon, Tsipras had once again sought a private conversation with Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, where, as far as we know, he had told them nothing of his plans. There was a phone call that evening with Berlin, but that did not lessen the snub. When Merkel declared her hope that there could still be a positive result, her Greek counterpart must have already made his plan.

Great expectations

This Greek government has broken every political and diplomatic rule. This was more than simply lack of manners and revolutionary directness. The Greek representatives behaved arrogantly, without it ever being apparent what their limitless expectations were based on.

They wanted their government to be financed by the European taxpayer, without limit, and they were out to insult the other euro countries while they were doing it. It is just stupid to drive your country to the wall while caught up in your own rhetoric.

Alexis Tsipras is pulling Greece into the abyss, not because there is no other option, but out of vanity. The eurozone did not want to accede to his demands, so now he is risking dragging his country into bankruptcy and out of the euro. That is more than irresponsible, because for months polls have shown that he has no mandate to do that. If he had the wellbeing of his people at heart, he would have accepted the creditors' last offer. That would have given him time until November to bring the economy back on track and continue negotiating. Now he is choosing the leftist wing of his party and their ideology over his people. He will go down in history as another Greek leader who has completely failed while in office - worse than his predecessors. Barring a miracle, Greece could sink into chaos and bankruptcy. The Greek people should chase Tsipras out of office as quickly as possible.

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