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The secret of our success

Illustration by Manos Symeonakis

 As far as cringeworthy moments go, it was right up there: Prime Minister George Papandreou being given a standing ovation by his Cabinet last Friday, just a few hours after the eurozone agreed on a new support package for Greece. That’s not to say that Papandreou — or indeed Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos — doesn’t deserve some credit for the energy and purpose he brought to those marathon negotiations, but with everything still at stake and so many questions about the deal unanswered, a triumphant welcome for a conquering hero hardly seems appropriate.

To be fair, Papandreou tried to play down his moment of glory last Friday — and continued to do so over the ensuing days — by arguing that securing the second package, worth 159 billion euros, had been a “success that belongs to all Greeks.” Nevertheless, painting the deal as a success at a time when the effects of the debt crisis are being felt far and wide and when the worst is still to come seems not just premature but immature. Greece is still tiptoeing along the precipice — it’s no time to break out into song and dance.

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