When in 2014 the current prime minister and then opposition leader Alexis Tsipras was declaring that “we will beat the drums and the markets will dance [to our tune]”, he was still in the period when he was, as he confessed, labouring under self-deceptions.
Four years later, the fateful mistakes for which Greek citizens paid dearly have not become a lesson to him. When the drums of handouts are beating, the markets are hardly dancing. Instead, they are reacting in a manner that can bring the Greek economy to the edge of the abyss.
The SYRIZA- Independent Greeks government is shutting its eyes to the ominous signals. The prime minister appears to have nothing on his mind except for the package of handouts that he will announce at the Thessaloniki International Fair, in an effort to achieve a rebound in opinion polls.
The mere suspicion that this package constitutes a reneging on all the measures to which the PM has agreed, has driven up borrowing interest rates. That, in turn, renders a return to the markets prohibitive, which could result in being subjected to a new bailout memorandum.
This time, the prime minister cannot say that he did not know. He cannot claim once again that he fell victim to his own self-deception.
“They will not be able to play the zourna [type of oboe] and make us dance,” Tsipras had assured citizens back then.
Let him not dance then, but at least he should do what is necessary for the government to regain its credibility.
Let him do what is necessary to regain the trust of creditors and investors, with the knowledge that this will not include drums and packages of handouts.