The Sunday Magazine

Why the Greek government had to accept the EU's austerity plan

Greece versus Germany - It is being called Europe's Civil War. After a defiant stand against austerity measures, the Greek government has finally buckled. But at what cost to Greece? And to the whole notion of a United States of Europe.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reacts during a parliamentary session in Athens, on July 16. The Greek parliament passed a sweeping package of austerity measures demanded by European partners in order to keep near-bankrupt country in the euro zone. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Selling austerity to the folks back home: Many Greeks felt betrayed by their own government when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Greece's parliament approved austerity measures imposed by the European Union.

Tsipras's Syriza party came to power on an anti-austerity platform, and the government recently won a referendum opposing austerity.

Yet Greece was forced to accept even stricter financial constraints than originally planned.

Even Lefteris Kretsos, the Greek government's communications chief who is charged with justifying the deal to his fellow Greeks, understands why they might feel let down or even sold out by Syriza.


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