Greek Prime Minister Tsipras won the reform package vote in parliament but watched his party split as the bill passed. Now enacting the necessary reforms will be even more difficult, says DW's Spiros Moscovou.
The mystifying process of governing has now been laid out in front of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. For five months he tried to impress the eurozone by constantly reiterating the words "democracy" and "dignity" rather than actually putting together a persuasive plan to tackle Greece's fiscal problems.
Now it's clear that he has utterly failed. Last weekend he was forced to agree to a series of demands set by international creditors in order to keep Greece afloat. Last night he suffered the indignity of watching a large portion of his party, some 39 ministers and representatives, refuse to follow him on the path of pragmatism. A sizable wing of his governing Syriza party remains unwavering in its attachment to backwards populism.
The first savings and reform plans set by international institutions were only passed thanks to support from the opposition, or the "inner Troika," as the Syriza's furious lefties scornfully like to call the conservative Nea Demokratia, the social democratic Pasok and the liberal, left Potami parties. Tsipras now has to rely on these supposed enemies in order to ratify the still incomplete agreements with lenders. Willing members of Syriza and its junior coalition partner, AnEl, simply do not have the seats needed to reach the 150 votes needed to pass legislation in parliament.
Who is going to enact the reforms?
On the surface, it looks like there would be a broad, national consensus for Greece remaining in the eurozone, as well as for reforming the country. However, that consensus is a treacherous minefield. The opposition is doing its part to save the country, yet they smugly observe the irony that it is up to them to push the first "leftist memorandum" through Greek parliament. And they remain unwilling to enter any kind of governing coalition with Syriza, which itself seems to have been irreparably split into factions of idealists and realists after yesterday's vote.
The expected reshuffling of the government, including the jettisoning of those calling for a return to the drachma, will only temporarily calm the situation. It is generally assumed that a third bailout package will almost certainly be initiated to save the country from total collapse - for now.
But who will implement the savings and reform requirements attached to the loans? Syriza, who are crying over being forced to abandon their leftist fantasies? Or the old parties, which didn't exactly shine during their implementation of the first two bailout packages?
Getting these changes in place requires a hands-on, creative consensus that simply does not exist. Over the last five years we have witnessed just how unfit Greece's political system is for dealing with national crises. Carry on, and if absolutely necessary recycle, that's the concept. Tsipras will also carry on, then he will grasp for new elections. Hopefully he won't already be doing that this fall.