Let's talk about Europe

Grexit vs. Federalism?

Alexis Tzipras, Greece PM welcomed by Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president

Alexis Tzipras, Greece PM welcomed by Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president

Will Greece still be part of the Eurozone by the end of the year? Apparently yes, an agreement should be found by the next EU Council extraordinary session and members are quite optimistic. Moreover, Athenian people were gathered near the Vouli (Greek parliament) to express their will to stay in the Eurozone and in the European Union.

Once again, Europe is coping with Greece’s financial situation and trying to find solutions it to stay within the Eurozone. On the other side, Alexis Tzipras, the Greek Prime minister and Syriza leader is still stating he wants his country to stay in Europe and a Grexit would be a huge disaster for him and the future of Greek people. Nonetheless, the far left leader who hoped to impose his points of view and his proposals has to concede a lot of measures strengthening the austerity policies for Greece.

As Jean Quatremer, French correspondent in the European Union for the French newspaper Liberation, explained on his blog, the Tzipras government has no other alternatives. Greece has to pay his creditors (IMF, EU, World Bank…) by the end of June and has to keep leading structural reforms it needs to recover its economy. Face with the reluctance of the Greek government and the minister of Finances’ blackmails, the EU partners wanted to stand firm on their principles and their strategy. Ok for an agreement but Athens has to make concessions if Greece wants to still enjoy the EU solidarity.

Yanis Varoufakis, Greek minister for Finances with Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director

Yanis Varoufakis, Greek minister for Finances with Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director

So Grexit was a hypothesis to force Tzipras to accept a new political agreement and to be more reasonable. The Syriza leader is clearly aware a too radical position may make his partners in an uncomfortable position and invite them to isolate Greece. On the other hand, nobody clearly wants Greece to quit the Eurozone and everybody knows there is no other alternative than assisting the country.

The conclusion of the story will depend on the capacity of Tzipras to make some concessions and ensure his voters he defended the interests of his country and his people both. Elected with an anti-austerity manifesto, the Greek reader knows now he has to take the interests of its partners into account and make some strategic alliances. In a Europe dominated by liberal and conservative leaders, Tzipras has to be strategic and backed by some partners within the EU Council. After that, maybe he will be able to question the attitude of some creditors as the IMF and the World Bank.

Because maintaining Greece inside the Eurozone means Europe still believes to its utopia and to integration. Maybe the time was come to think about the next step, the road to a closer and deeper integration. Everybody is aware of it and everybody also knows there is not a turning back.

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