OPINION

Our bankrupt politicians

The haircut of Greek government bonds and the second bailout agreement with the debt-wracked nation?s international creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — represent the biggest milestones since the 2010 memorandum.

Greece has entered a historical phase of adversity and suffering, and no one knows how or when it will emerge from of it. The reasons behind this dramatic collapse lie with past government failings. which were only made worse by the European Union?s own inherent flaws, combined with the global economic downturn.

It is good to be aware of this, even though the truth is that there is little comfort to be gained from this knowledge. After all, it offers little comfort to know that the country?s political elite has abandoned the stricken ship.

Having brought Greece under international supervision without first carrying out any serious negotiations, our ruling elites have been forced, under the weight of mammoth administrative challenges, to surrender the country?s political control to its lending partners.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Christine Lagarde, the French chief of the Washington-based IMF, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the EU bloc?s paymaster, are doing a better job at negotiating the Greek bond writedown and the coupon than what Greece?s politicians ever would (they, in fact, failed to push for a better deal when they had the chance).

Greece?s ruling elites appear thoroughly incapable of safeguarding vital national interests and historic, hard-won rights — in the way, for example, that their Italian and Spanish counterparts are doing.

The nation?s bankrupt ruling class is a complete stranger to ability, to willpower, and to cognizance of the historical moment. All it has is an unquenchable thirst for power –even if it means exercising it among ruins.

Any hope for recovery presupposes this elite?s exit from the political stage so as to make way for fresh forces. It may be humiliating, but a strong intervention of foreign officials in our domestic affairs would accelerate this process. We must, however, make sure that such an eventually does not come with irreparable damage on our national sovereignty and social cohesion.