Alexis Tsipras

Tsipras is at his strongest, but for how long?

ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolis | Working out how Alexis Tsipras went from anti-austerity crusader to comfortably winning an election while promising to implement the third bailout, and in the process turning a resounding “No” in the July referendum to a humiliating “Yes” a week later, is something that political scientists will study for years to come.

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The education of Alexis Tsipras

ATHENS | March 3, 2015 | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolisThere was a defining moment in the recent election campaign. It wasn’t New Democracy’s decision to go full negative by running a campaign ad that suggested Armageddon was around the corner. Nor was it To Potami’s claim that it would unveil its plan for reaching an agreement with Greece’s lenders after the elections. Instead, it came on a mild Thursday night in Omonia Square.

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The Greek government imbroglio


MADRID | JP Marín Arrese | The markets have shown utter dismay at the dim prospects of the euro zone striking a deal that would cut short uncertainties over the current Greek imbroglio. Tsipras seems ready to fight until the very end in a bid to undermine his European partners. As the Brussels bureaucracy works feverishly to broker an honourable truce, Tsipras appears increasingly reluctant to offer anything short of unconditional surrender. His blunt refusal of any rescue linked to the current conditions is eroding confidence in the Greek government’s political wisdom, its brand of refined brinkmanship seems unlikely to bring Athens to a less intractable stance.  A devastating crisis may loom ahead should the sides fail to yield ground in the current tug-of-war.


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The alternative of (tax-based) capital controls for Greece

By Marios Zachariadis via MacroPolisAt first glance, the potentially catastrophic consequences of Grexit on the rest of the Eurozone provide the Greek government with an important bargaining chip. However, the Greek government should take into consideration that Grexit is not the only possible alternative in case an agreement with the rest of the EZ cannot be reached soon.


Greek government has little to lose

MADRID | By JP Marín ArreseBy taking pre-emptive action against Greece, Draghi is behaving like the Nottingham Sheriff ruthlessly enforcing law and order according to Berlin rules. He was forced to act only by the end of this month. Taking on his own the task of imposing a 7-day ultimatum to Tsipras, he has shattered his neutral stance as a monetary policymaker. Yet, his move might backfire should Greece refuse caving in to pressure. After all, it has little to lose. 


Draghi corners Tsipras

MADRID | By JP Marín ArreseTsipras rebellion was ruthlessly quelled by the ECB governing board last night. Neither Greek sovereigns, nor publicly-guaranteed bond issues, will stand as eligible collateral for funding facilities, thus plunging the financial system into a crippling credit-crunch. The emergency liquidity arrangement managed by the local central bank severely caps new public financing to a meagre €3.5 billion amount. The new government faces the unpalatable choice between surrender or bankruptcy.

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All smiles and handshakes for Tsipras’ EC visit (before ECB tightened the rope)

BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | The leader of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, offered a friendly welcome to the Greek Prime Minister at the Commission entrance on Wednesday. There were no speeches, nor questions from journalists. After posing in front of the cameras, Juncker took Tsipras’ hand, the two leaving the photo-call as ‘lovers’. And some hours later, in a not that surprising move, Draghi banned the use of the Greek debt as collateral for the European Central Bank’s. The euro continued falling versus the U.S. dollar after the news: it hit $1.1304 — close to its 11-year low — before stabilizing at $1.1354 around 0540 GMT.

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Less is more: The Greek government needs a chisel, not a sledgehammer

By Jens Bastian via MacroPolisThe parliamentary majority achieved by the SYRIZA-led coalition government following the 25 January elections constitutes a strong political mandate in mathematical terms. Among one of the many immediate challenges facing the new administration is trying to translate its numerical advantage into a majority of support among Greek citizens, including those who did not vote for the senior coalition party.