OVERWHELMING POPULAR SUPPORT FOR GREECE’S NEGOTIATING STRATEGY. This article on Reuters by Deepa Babington and Karolina Tagaris shows that the negotiating strategy of the new Greek government headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is extremely popular. They say: “An opinion poll this week showed 79 percent of Greeks backed Tsipras’s policies and 74 percent believed his negotiating strategy will succeed, even though Greece has so far found not a single ally among 19 euro zone nations.” The article describes the joy and pride that many Greeks feel because their government is standing up to Europe and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund. The joy and pride come from what Cowens refers to as “expressive goods… namely insulting the Germans and claiming that the Troika is dead and buried….”

There is another possibility—that the rhetoric is intended to strengthen the bonds among Greeks, to create a united front. That strategy seems to have the disadvantage of also strengthening the bonds among the different European nations. Cowens refers to this when he points out that: “Arguably the insults and posturing have narrowed the possible bargaining space by hurting feelings all around.”

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