Wishful thinking

One of the biggest mistakes we make in Greece is interpreting international developments according to what we want to hear rather than what is actually being said.

The new government received a clear mandate to negotiate a new debt deal with the country’s lenders and partners. At first it had plenty of allies, including US President Barack Obama as well as several important European officials and personalities.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his finance chief Yanis Varoufakis have set out their government’s position to most European leaders by now, but it is already clear that while the two Greek officials have their European peers’ liking and sympathy, they don’t have any strong allies to stand up to Berlin, the Eurogroup or the European Central Bank. Instead, we have seen a collective insistence that Greece sticks to its commitments or risks being cut off.

The negotiations will continue and everyone should support them for the sake of the national interest. But we need to face the facts and stop buying into the illusions.