In the face of rising opposition, the Greek Prime Minister is considering foregoing niceties such as democratic consent for the new extension of the Eurogroup bailout package. According to Open Europe:
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said he will decide in the next 48 hours whether to allow the Greek parliament to vote on the extension of the country’s financial assistance programme, following concerns about dissent in his own party. In a vote held behind closed doors, up to 30 Syriza MPs voted against the extension, though a rebellion in an actual vote would unlikely be as large, according to Kathimerini.
But dissent isn’t confined just to the polite corridors of Parliament. As The Financial Times reports:
In the Greek capital on Thursday night several hundred hardline leftists marched to parliament to demonstrate against the Syriza government’s new agreement with international lenders. […]The protest, organised by the far-left Antarsyia party, turned violent when groups of demonstrators began throwing petrol bombs and attacked stores in a luxury shopping street.It was the first anti-government protest since Syriza took office after a snap general election last month.
Syriza’s solutions have not always been the most realistic, to put it politely. But until it caved to Brussels last week, the party’s critique of why extending the bailouts would be a bad idea—in large part because such a decision had almost no support among the Greek people, and so would endanger democracy—was mostly sound.Syriza was elected because the main Greek parties had exhausted the confidence of the people. If Syriza (which until recently had 70+ percent approval ratings—an indicator of their success, yes, but also everyone else’s failure) leaves the Greeks feeling excluded from vital decisions about their future as well, then the only parties for them to turn may be the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn or true leftist radicals. Tsipras and his party, having stared into the fiscal abyss, might feel they have good reasons to have taken the course they did. But if so, they urgently need to share them with—and gain the consent of—the Greek people and their representatives.