Responding to Greek leftist coalition Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras’ vow to abandon the debt resettlement terms, German leaders vowed today to cut Greece off from any international monetary aid if they fail to support the debt renegotiation settlement terms.
Struggling to form a government in the wake of the May 6 elections, Greece’s leadership has increasingly struggled with maintaining its austerity package while also keeping domestic stability. Deeply unpopular, the austerity parties suffered greater losses than any other single group in the recent parliamentary elections. The Greek political situation is so unstable that even the neo-Fascist, Nazi-inspired ‘Golden Dawn’ won enough votes to enter parliament, though all parties have vowed to not work with them.
The warning from Berlin is clear, however: Maintain austerity and the terms of the debt renegotiation package or leave the euro. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, responded to Alexis Tsipras’ allegations that the settlement was invalid with, “The Greek parties should bear in mind that a stable government that holds to agreements is a basic prerequisite for further support from the euro-zone countries.”
Indeed, any truly functioning state in the international system is expected, on some level, to adhere to the agreements it makes. Allegations of mismanagement and gross incompetence on multiple levels do add sympathy to the Greek case; however, rampant tax fraud, corruption, and an unwillingness for reform coupled with social acceptance of the above practices have also contributed mightily to the fall of Greece’s economy.
A planned trip to Athens by the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) is cancelled pending further developments in the nation of Greece. Optimists remain hopeful that Alexis Tsipras will fail to form a coalition government, passing the mandate to PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos who has expressed his determination to keep Greece in the euro and to maintaining the resettlement terms.