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#ThisIsNotACoup - Dispelling some myths about the Greek agreement

The media is abuzz with hyperbole calling the Greek agreement to work toward a deal “humiliating”, “capitulation”, “surrender” or worse, “a coup”.  Weighty names such as Nobel Laureates Krugman and Stiglitz have also endorsed the #ThisIsACoup hasthtag that has been trending on Twitter.  The idea behind all of these is the supposed “near total” loss of Greek sovereignty. In particular, the idea that Greek public assets would be handed over to an agency under EU supervision for privatisation has provoked particular fury. Another idea that is doing the rounds is that the creditors exacted revenge for Tsipras having dared to call a referendum. The statement that the conditions under the new programme are much harsher than what was on offer has been repeated ad infinitum.

The third narrative floating around is one that holds Syriza and Tsipras primarily responsible for Greece’s current problems. The Eurogroup statement, for example, seems to blame doubts about debt sustainability primarily on the failure of Greeks to implement policies over the past few months. A particularly pernicious version of this is the politically tone-deaf and highly unprofessional tweet from Peter Kazimir, the Slovak Finance Minister, who said the agreement was tough for Athens because of their “Greek Spring”.