“There is no end in sight to the suffering of the Greek people,” writes Guardian editor Larry Elliott after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ capitulation to European demands.

“They have seen their country’s economy shrink by 25% in five years and it was already back in recession when the banks closed their doors two weeks ago.” It would take years to repair the damage done to Greece by austerity, Elliott says, “even if pro-growth policies are pursued.”

That, sadly, will not be the case. Greece now faces a fresh wave of austerity policies – increases in VAT, public sector wage cuts, less generous pensions – that will put the brake on activity. This approach has been tried repeatedly over the past five years and it has failed repeatedly. It will fail again.

The terms Tsipras is now willing to accept are more severe than those he rejected two weeks ago, Elliott says. That was when Tsipras put the matter of whether to accept more austerity to the Greek people in a referendum.

Greece voted no by a landslide. Tsipras asked for a mandate and got it. But if he thought this would force the creditors to offer concessions, he was wrong. The choice faced by his government this week has been stark: surrender or leave the euro. He has chosen to hoist the white flag over the Parthenon.

Greeks will be asking today what has been the point of the last month of diplomatic theatre: the endless meetings, the violent rhetoric, the walkouts, and the calling of the referendum. The answer is less than nothing. Untold damage has been caused to the Greek economy for no purpose whatsoever. Tsipras is a much-diminished figure as a result of the events of the last two weeks, and ought to pay a heavy political price.

Whats happens now? Pressure to keep Europe whole will likely produce terms that keep Greece in the EU, Elliott writes. And Greece will probably get some debt relief. But “the tax increases and the wage cuts will not deliver the promised economic recovery. A third bailout package will be no more successful than the past two.”

Read more here.

Below, “Democracy Now!” reports on Tsipras’ move.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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