Everyone is uneasy about the electoral victory of Syriza in Greece and the threat of populism in Europe. The media has been buzzing for days now with comments and analysis, largely talking about what Syriza should do, what should be done by the European Union, Germany, the International Monetary Fund… the consequences of the policies announced…
Syriza doesn’t want to pay his debt (well, that was part of his campaign platform). The eurozone rejects the idea of releasing Greece from its obligation (of course, what you expect!).
Thus begins the negotiation. And although I wouldn’t say that anything goes in a negotiation, certainly intentions should not be openly revealed from the outset. As such, it is logical that Greece (now the country as a whole, not just a political party) would ask for as much as possible, and that the eurozone would deny everything it can.
The proposal about what Greece should do, which has been widely read in the press in recent days, could be advice about what ultimately comes out of the negotiation. In the meantime, we should not be alarmed by the extreme positions of either side. I don’t know what will happen in the end, but if negotiation goes as expected, we’ll see trickery, pushing and backing off, pressure and threats… just like a spirited game of poker.
In any negotiation there are going to be rational and emotional components. I was going to say that the Greeks voted more with hearts than their heads, but I don’t think that is the case. I suspect that many Greek citizens know or sense the terrible consequences that could befall them if negotiations are abruptly broken off . But they also know they must negotiate, that those previously in power could not negotiate and that, as a result, new representatives are needed.