What Really Happened In Greece

And What Will Come Next

A Greek presidential guard performs a ceremonial march at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the parliament building in Athens, Greece, September 12, 2015. Paul Hanna / Reuters

When the radical leftist party Syriza won a victory in snap elections in Greece in January 2015, many observers hailed it as a major challenge to the politics of austerity in the eurozone and to Germany’s hegemony in Europe.

Fast-forward a few months: An intense five-month negotiation led to a cliffhanger, with Greek banks shutting down, a snap referendum in which a large majority rejected austerity, and a Grexit seemingly closer than ever. And then, Greece’s government pulled a 180 degree turn and accepted a new bailout deal, one that extends the fiscal adjustment and structural reforms that were part of the previous deals and provides for extensive supervision by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF (with the addition now of the European Stability Mechanism). What is more, the Greek parliament approved this package with an unprecedented and overwhelming majority. The decision met with a notable

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