Greece the wheels by keeping emotion out of it

The leading protagonists on either side of the creditor-debtor struggle are using personal and emotive comments as a regular ploy.  The latest incident is Schauble’s remark that he ‘pities’ the Greeks for electing an ‘irresponsible’ Government.  But there have been many more, and from Syriza’s side too. There was the visit to the Nazi-assasinated partisan’s graves, picked from the many things that could have been done to symbolise Syriza’s left-wing credentials, to cause offence and raise the issue of grievance.  And many more.

This is comprehensible as a tactic to solidify political support for a line chosen by each party;  to maintain and sustain the bond between the elected representatives and the voters, who, leaders might suspect, must be shown empathy for the emotions they are feeling.  So that when the inevitable dirty compromise is struck, there won’t be too much political damage, and their respective electorates will think ‘they saw it how we did, and did all they could.’

However, I can’t help worrying that it really IS getting personal, and the protagonists ARE pissed off, and won’t see coolly what needs to be done.  Political histories are full of examples where, after the fact, historians agree that personality and emotion got in the way.

Moreover, although comprehensible as a tactic, it’s also risky.  Emotions, once whipped up, can’t always be kept under control by the politicians who stoked them.

So, if any of them are reading, which they probably are not, calm down, stop giving those interviews, and spend more time iterating over those spreadsheets until you find the one that works.

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