Saturday, February 21, 2015

Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve

by Hugo Dixon


February 21, 2015

Alexis Tsipras must keep his nerve. The new Greek prime minister has crossed a Rubicon in asking for an extension to the country’s hated bailout programme while abandoning many election promises. Tsipras should realise there is now no turning back. But he can snatch victory from defeat if he embraces radical reforms with vigour.

Tsipras blinked on Friday night when it became clear that a bank run was gathering pace and capital controls would need to be imposed within days unless he did a deal with his euro zone creditors. The government itself would have gone bust in weeks. The misery inflicted on an already suffering people would have been terrible.

The Greek prime minister has had to accept virtually everything his creditors, led by Germany, demanded. However, Athens did secure a potentially important concession: it will be able to propose its own list of reforms.


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