After Greece’s exit from its bailout programme this week, many are looking to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to set the direction of his country’s future – and with it, his own uncertain political career ahead of next year’s elections.
After first railing against euro zone post-crisis austerity policies, the left-winger finally agreed to pursue Brussels-ordained reforms and deficit-cutting that have shrunk the domestic economy and sent his popularity ratings spiralling down.
This summer has been a painful one, with his shaky coalition further weakened in June by a lawmaker’s resignation and himself under attack for his handling of deadly forest fires. His gamble to settle a decades-old name dispute with neighbouring Macedonia was a brave move but it also angered many Greek voters.
Tsipras is expected to give an address today on Ithaca, the island where Odysseus returned home from the Trojan war after the 10-year voyage recounted by Greek classical poet Homer. But Tsipras, like his country, is far from home and dry.