Allegory of the Caving

A New Deal for Greece?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a debate on Greece at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, July 8, 2015.  Vincent Kessler / Reuters

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? In ancient Greek mythology, when Zeus was confronted with this paradox in the form of an unstoppable hunting dog, Laelaps, and an uncatchable fox, the Teumessian fox, he resolved it by turning both animals to stone. In contemporary Greece, when the seemingly unstoppable Syriza government rammed into Greece’s immovable creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras simply sacked his Marxist finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and caved into his creditors’ demands. 

Late in the evening of Thursday July 9, just four days after 61 percent of Greeks voted no to the terms of a bailout package that had been offered by its creditors, the Tsipras government submitted a package of economic reform proposals to its eurozone creditors that, initial accounts suggest, will impose more austerity than the terms of the package that voters so recently rejected. It turns out that when the banks are

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