Friday’s hopes of a deal to keep Greece in the eurozone diminished on Saturday as leaders hesitated to grant the country another bailout.
ATHENS, Greece — Many Greeks went to bed Friday thinking that their government and its creditors had all but completed a deal that would keep the country in the eurozone and was acceptable all around, even though it contained another raft of austerity measures.
But by midday Saturday any sense of relief was gone, replaced by anxiety as negotiations in Brussels took a tough turn. Greeks were glued to their radios or were constantly refreshing news websites on their phones as it became clear that the other nations using the euro were still divided over granting Greece another bailout.
“I thought the drama was over,” said Panagiotis Demesoukas, 49, who used to own a construction business. “But then I realized, no. Even this deal wasn’t enough for them.”
And by Sunday, anxiety was turning to frustration and even anger as it became increasingly likely that any deal — if one could be reached at all — would involve further concessions from Greece, including a rushed package of new legislation to overhaul various elements of economic policy.
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“I think that they just want to kick us out,” Demesoukas said.
The measures the Greek Parliament had passed early Saturday, capitulating to creditor demands on almost every front, had become nothing more than “a good basis for discussion” in Brussels, a phrase some Greeks repeated to each other with disgust.
Some found the criticism from fellow Europeans in Brussels about Greece’s capacity to follow through on its promises to be humiliating. Others said they felt like they were in the hands of loan sharks.
Others said they were just worn out.
“I am so sick and tired of all this,” said Giorgos Papadopoulos, 49, a taxi driver who had tried to turn his car radio off but found all his passengers asking him to turn it on to listen for news. “It’s such crazy theater. We said no and, then, we said yes. And now, they say no. It’s hard to figure out what is going on.”
Equally baffling, even for experts, was the political fallout that might be ahead for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whether he gets a deal or not. He was able to easily muster the votes for the deal that Greece’s creditors are now saying is only a good start. But two of his own ministers voted against it, and about 30 others made clear their disapproval in various ways.
Tsipras’ Syriza party now appears deeply split, and the government heavily reliant on opposition parties to pass any additional legislation required by a deal with the creditors. This weekend’s newspapers suggested that the divisions could soon lead to an overhaul of the government. Even Syriza’s newspaper, Avgi, said that a reshuffle was imminent and that new elections loom.
Some analysts said the political landscape was so bizarre these days that it was impossible to predict what might happen and, if a multiparty unity government were needed, which parties might join forces.
“Things are so messy,” said Paschos Mandravelis, a political analyst with the conservative newspaper Kathimerini. “It’s hard to make any predictions about anything.”
Mandravelis said Tsipras would have to get rid of the two ministers who voted no and that it would probably be important to Europe for Tsipras to surround himself with technocrats who know the ways of the European Union, since “a lack of trust” had now become a major part of the discussions in Brussels.
He said there was very little appetite, even from opposition parties, for new elections. “I think this is the first time the political system in Greece understands how much is at stake in unity,” Mandravelis said.
But even if Tsipras stays in office, he will, in effect, have been forced to move toward the political center. Some analysts have long maintained that the European leaders were uncomfortable with the far left component of the Syriza party and wanted to oust Tsipras altogether.