Commentary loans for greece: aid that doesn’t help

The way Athens is being treated testifies to a relapse into national narratives. Yet Syriza represents a real opportunity. But Europe and the Bundestag are throwing it away.

Rain or bailout umbrella? Image: dpa

Europe was once supposed to be a continent in which different cultures would not merge, but would grow together. Behind this was the dream of turning away from the old nationalism and toward a European identity in which everyone would be happy according to his or her own wishes. If we look at Europe today, there is little left of that. The handling of the Greek crisis is exemplary of the relapse into national narratives.

When the Bundestag votes on the Greek bailout on Friday, a majority yes is certain. At the same time, however, a subliminal vote is taking place there on whether the bitter medicine administered to this impoverished country is also administered in sufficiently black-red-gold decorated bottles and whether the Athenian patient also shows sufficient gratitude for it. Whether this also gives the sick person a chance to recover is not up for debate. A discussion about supranational solidarity of all Europeans does not even take place. The only question is whether the Greeks have "done their homework" so that the head teacher will approve the transfer.

No, there is no unconditional watering-can solidarity demanded here. Of course, the Syriza government can’t just do whatever it thinks of with the euro loan.

But the way this aid is being administered, its subsequent failure is certain. In just a few months, Greece will once again be broke. How is a government supposed to develop a plan in this short time to fight corruption, reduce poverty, provide for new investments and even repay old loans on time? That will not be possible. And so it is foreseeable that in a few months the Bundestag will meet again to discuss new aid, without the structures in Athens having improved.

You don’t have to like Syriza, but the new government in Athens offers a great opportunity. With it, it would finally be possible after decades to break up the criminal clientelism system and at least ensure bourgeois-capitalist conditions in southeastern Europe. And what is Europe doing, what is the Bundestag doing? They are throwing away this chance. Their yes to the loans is in reality a no to a Greece with a European perspective.

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