On Thursday, there was a general strike in Greece. It was probably unique. This must have been the first time — ever — that a ruling political party has supported a strike in protest against its own policies.
That’s right: the left-wing Syriza party actually encouraged the walk-out demonstrating opposition to the reforms and budget cuts that it is trying to impose.
Syriza grudgingly agreed during the summer to implement the measures in return for a third bailout from its European partners. Some observers suggest that the party urged people to join Thursday’ strike in the hope that it would persuade Greece’s European creditors to soften their demands. Michael Arghyrou, an economist with the Cardiff Business School, thinks that such a ploy will not work and he sees big trouble ahead.
“All the ingredients of a major political and economic crisis are there,” he said.