The Athens visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel marks the end of a cycle of division and of an anti-European current that began in 2010, when the government was then forced to sign a bailout memorandum in order to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy.
Greece was not the only country forced to wear the straight jacket of austerity.
It was the only country, however, in which political parties hastened to capitalise on the indignation of citizens, the only country in which parties depicted themselves as anti-memorandum and pointed the finger at those who maintained a responsible stance, accusing them of being the servants of creditors.
The party of the prime minister, SYRIZA, was among the political forces that exploited the indignation citizens and indeed fueled it.
During the Chancellor’s last visit in 2012 protesters depicted her with Hitler’s mustache and Nazi uniform. The capital was consumed by violence and the PM himself as head of the “anti-memorandum opposition” depicted her as the leading figure in a “Europe of loan sharks”.
The situation in Athens today is in no way reminiscent of what iit was back then.
Mr. Tsipras is no longer the burning preacher of division who accused his opponents of being “Merkelists”, but rather a hospitable host.
The cycle that began with anti-Merkel Philippics some years ago closed with a cordial dinner in Piraeus’ Panorama, but not without cost.
The cost that Greek society paid in the interim, however, is infinitely greater than the restaurant bill.