Greek Views of the 2015 Bailout Agreement: A Matter of Power Asymmetries or Socialisation?
In July 2015, after intense negotiations with its creditors, Greece received a bailout in exchange for fiscal restraint. The coalition government at that time, led by the left-wing SYRIZA party, elected on the basis of an anti-austerity platform, eventually accepted the prevalent austerity frames of the creditors. Through the aid of Q-method, an analysis of Greek opinion leaders’ views of the negotiation highlights that this outcome can be explained in two different ways. The first posits that the ideological overtones that ruling SYRIZA injected in its negotiation strategy exhibited a lack of socialisation and undermined Greece’s already weak bargaining position. The second focuses on the institutional status quo bias in the Eurogroup in Germany’s favour, which discourages any change in the Eurozone. These two views may have partly been influenced by questions of political accountability.
Keywords: Greece; bailout agreements; rational choice institutionalism; socialisation; Q-methodology