Greece would have been in a much stronger position had the prime minister followed the same tactics he used in Berlin yesterday from the start. We lost about two months, with all the drama and fanfare, and it has come at a great cost to the economy and the country’s dignity.
Before yesterday, the SYRIZA-led government seemed trapped in its extreme opposition rhetoric and allowed an anti-European climate to develop. Yesterday, though, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was different. He defended the Greek position without taking extreme positions and in a spirit of self-criticism. This is the only road really available to any European leader today.
Tsipras, however, has to bring the same tone back home, to Greece, because if he does not tame the anti-European nationalist populism and polarizing rhetoric of certain government officials he will never be able to govern effectively and keep Greece in the eurozone.
The circumstances call for pragmatism and there are those that need to mature, and fast.