On Saturday, when we discussed the impact of the Spanish bailout for other European countries, focusing on Ireland which had promptly requested a renegotiation of its own terms to match those of Spain, we noted that "Syriza's Tsipras should send a bottle of the finest champagne to de Guindos - he just won him the election." It appears that the leader of the Greek anti-bailout party wasted no time to capitalize precisely on just this.
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s leftwing Syriza coalition, seized on news of the Spanish bailout to bolster his position ahead of next week’s crucial general election, which may determine whether the country stays in the euro.
“The developments in Spain confirm the position we adopted from the start – that the crisis is a pan-European problem, and the way it has been handled so far has been socially catastrophic and completely ineffectual,” Mr Tsipras, who opposes the bailouts, told a newspaper.
Antonis Samaras, the pro-bailout conservative leader, said the Spanish bailout terms showed “the benefits of taking the road of responsibility”.
What we wonder is why did Europe cave to the Spanish demands before the Greek elections. Because, paradoxically, by yielding to a bailout plan, which at least superficially has been painted as one without conditions, it just cemented Syriza's entire electoral platform as having absolute validity.
Then again, on the insolvent continent, nothing really surprises us any more.