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Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 27 June 2024

Greece’s 2015 Eurozone Bailout “Renegotiation”: Beware of Greeks Bearing “Unpolitics”?

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Abstract:  In January 2015, Greece witnessed a political earthquake with the election of the populist anti-austerity/EU bailout coalition of the left-wing party SYRIZA and the far-right party ANEL. It is argued that during January–July 2015, the SYRIZA–ANEL coalition engaged in a protracted process of renegotiation of Greece’s bailout terms that were agreed between previous Greek governments and the so-called Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund) adopting a behaviour ruled by “unpolitics.” First, the SYRIZA–ANEL government immediately rejected formal and informal rules of EU decision-making. Second, the SYRIZA–ANEL government rejected traditional means of compromise, such as package deals and side payments. Third, when Greece’s creditors presented their last-minute bailout offer in June 2015 to avoid Greece leaving the eurozone (Grexit), the SYRIZA–ANEL government rejected the suggested solution and tried to exploit the ensuing deadlock by calling a rashly organised referendum asking Greeks to vote against the suggested deal. This period of “unpolitics” ended almost immediately after the referendum when, in a sudden and unexpected volte-face, Tsipras interpreted the referendum result as a call for compromise with the Troika and accepted the previously intolerable bailout deal.

Keywords:  bailout; eurozone; Greece; populism, SYRIZA–ANEL; Troika; unpolitics

Published:   Ahead of Print


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.8190


© Sotirios Zartaloudis. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.