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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Greece’s Tsipras Still Has a Shot at Greatness

If the prime minister can get his Macedonia deal approved, his final months in office will help offset his failures during the economic crisis.

Last hurrah.

Last hurrah.

Photographer: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has survived a confidence vote in parliament and seems likely to obtain legislative approval for his highly controversial deal with neighboring Macedonia. Now he can contemplate his legacy, as he serves out what are likely to be his last months in office.

The vote’s outcome was no surprise. Tsipras likely was certain of victory before the first ballot was cast, and even Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose resignation had set off the government crisis, appeared to be sure the prime minister would remain until the next election. This strongly suggests the “crisis” over the Macedonia deal — in which the former Yugoslav republic renamed itself North Macedonia in exchange for Greek support for its bids to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union — was engineered by Tsipras and Kammenos.