The Speech Tsipras Should Have Made

by Tariq Ali

Feb. 21, 2015. Tsipras' statement is not even wishful thinking, its a combo of untruths. Schauble in vicious and triumphalist mood, told the Greek delegation that he was wondering how they would explain this capitulation to their people.

The attempted deception below is the Tsipras statement. Effectively its the bullshit in which centre politicians excel. We could see it as a tactical retreat if it was part of an overall strategy, but this does not appear to be the case. A more honest statement would have been as follows:

THE SPEECH TSIPRAS SHOULD HAVE MADE

We tried, we negotiated sincerely, but they were determined to excrete on our heads. First the Germans and then their followers. This was especially rough on our Finance Minister who was not wearing his cap that day. It was in his hand. So we have come back with nothing.They have won the first round and on Monday they will further spell out the terms of their triumph. The Troika is still in command. It will control our money supply, it will determine how and on what we spend our money. The EU elite is determined to continue our punishment and we have accepted this for four months. We will use these four months to prepare a Plan B. We call on the citizens of Europe to mobilise in our support. The blackmail imposed on us is similar to that imposed on small countries during the inter-war years. Greece is still not a sovereign country. Our democracy means nothing to the Germans and the EU elite. Some thanked us for saving the Euro but this flatter didn't deceive us at all. We are determined now to save Greece.

THE SPEECH HE DID MAKE

{Athens and its eurozone bailout lenders agreed an eleventh-hour deal to extend the country’s €172bn rescue programme on Friday night. The following is the official English version of the prime minister’s statement on Saturday.}

Yesterday Greece achieved an important and successful result in negotiations with Europe. Greece remains standing — and with its dignity intact. We proved that Europe stands for mutually beneficial compromises — not for doling out punishments. And in this sense, yesterday’s results may be even more important for Europe than for Greece itself.

The Eurogroup’s joint statement lays out the framework agreement that bridges the time between the Memorandum and our growth plan. This agreement creates the institutional framework for much-needed, progressive reforms concerning the fight against corruption and tax evasion, as well as reforming the State and public administration, and of course overcoming the humanitarian crisis, which we consider our primary responsibility.

Yesterday, we took a decisive step, leaving austerity, the Memoranda and the Troika behind. A decisive step that will allow changes in the Eurozone. Yesterday was not the end of the negotiations. We will be entering a new, more substantive stage in our negotiations until we reach a final agreement to transition from the catastrophic policies of the Memoranda, to policies that will focus on development, employment and social cohesion.

Certainly we will face challenges. But the Greek government is committed to approaching the negotiations that will be taking place between now and June, with even greater determination. We are committed to restoring our national and popular sovereignty. Together with the support of Greek people, who will be the ultimate judge of our actions. As supporters and active participants, the Greek people will aid us in our efforts to bring about political change.