There are two dangerous things lurking around the corner for Greece: the anti-Greek sentiment that has taken root in the minds of powerful eurozone players and the anti-European sentiment growing among Greek citizens.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his allies want to prove that Greece cannot survive. Meanwhile, we are facing a tough new bailout agreement that is politically toxic and incredibly challenging on the implementation level.
The hawks are waiting for Greece to fail in some aspect of its implementation so they can say that they had been right all along and the country is indeed incapable of radical reform.
At the same time, the country is set to have entered another period of recession by fall, there will be little hope of positive change and even today’s champions of the deal will have grown despondent from the increasing tax burden.
It is very likely that we will see the formation of a strong anti-European block in the next few months that will challenge Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s hold on power, making the governance of the country even harder than it is right now.
The solution lies with Tsipras himself. If the young politician has decided to put his past behind him and sees himself as a reformist, then he is looking at an amazing opportunity. He has to be openly and brutally honest, however, because any sign of obfuscating will sink him like it did all the other prime ministers during the crisis before him who tried to balance between two different sides.
By moving closer to the center and by making use of individuals of a leftist leaning who are serious and experienced, he will have a chance, though it will be short-lived. After all, he is the only political leader in Greece right now who could convince people who voted “no” in last Sunday’s referendum to support his efforts to keep Greece in the eurozone.
The ideal scenario, of course, would be an interim government of politicians and technocrats to serve for a period of two years and get the country back in order. It would take at least a year or so to get the economy back on its feet and just as long to quell the flames of indignation that will certainly flare up in society.
Will the country’s political staff find the nerve and determination to see the agreement through? We will know which way Tsipras is headed very soon. That said, the big bang of the political system has already started.