“In the past few days, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece has blown up negotiations with European creditors on staving off default, then retreated and accepted more or less the same terms, only to have European leaders tell him the offer had expired,” says The New York Times.
“How much of Alexis Tsipras’s tactics in the past five months have been driven by incompetence and how much by conspiracy?” asks a Wall Street Journal analysis.
Meanwhile, European leaders have been saying sometimes directly contradictory things about whether a bailout deal for Greece still is on the table, and whether they want Greece to hold its referendum before they can renew discussions about it.
Europe is a union with most real decision-making power — especially on issues involving politically delicate things like money and migrants — in the hands of 28 national governments, each one beholden to its voters and taxpayers.
The tension has grown only more acute since the January 1999 launch of the euro, which now binds 19 nations into a single currency zone watched over by the European Central Bank. Budget and tax policy remain in the hands of each country, an arrangement that some economists believe was doomed from the start.
On the front lines of the chaos are the Greek people. Here is more detail on what they’re going through, from Reuters.