Ryan Cooper – Why the eurozone is still headed for total disaster

For a few months in 2015, U.S. writers paid rapt attention to eurozone politics.

It seemed like tiny Greece was going to force European elites to finally fix some of the crippling defects with the currency area. Left-wing Syriza, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, leveled a challenge to the German-dominated eurozone grandees. With the economic situation in Greece worse than the Great Depression — very obviously the result of elite-imposed austerity — and much of the rest of the currency area doing only somewhat better, they demanded an end to austerity and a return to growth and shared prosperity.

Alas, the hopes of internationalist leftists worldwide were crushed.

Elites, mainly through the European Central Bank holding a gun to the head of the Greek banking system, forced Syriza to capitulate and give up their reform program even after they won a popular referendum. Varoufakis resigned, Tsipras seemed content serving as a local administrator for an economic empire run by eurozone technocrats, and politics settled down.

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