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Monday, March 9, 2015

Eight lessons (on negotiations with the EU/EZ) from Syriza | Open Europe

Eight lessons for David Cameron from Syriza | Open Europe

  1. Mind your language: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis may be fun, but his controversial running commentary – “fiscal waterboarding”, 
  2. Don’t negotiate via the media: Syriza – like Number 10 up until recently – has a tendency to write the headline first, and the content later
  3. Beware of shopping lists: At least premature ones. Syriza has been forced to climb down on a series of specific election 
  4. Know the incentives of your partners: Syriza’s gamble on austerity fatigue translating into support from other countries totally mis-judged the politics 
  5. Prepare the ground: In turn, for that to work, as David Frost noted in his pamphlet for Open Europe, the key is to convince others that what you’re asking for is the ‘normal’ – not an eccentric demand
  6. A marathon, not a sprint: Fundamental change takes time. As Tsipras may have concluded by now, you cannot make 22 EU leaders discard their ties over-night (only five of the 28 are women). Syriza was naïve in believing it could change so much in such a short period of time. 
  7.  Noy you or Berlin: If you force others to choose between you and Germany, then, as Gary Lineker may have put it, EU negotiations become a very simple game: in the end, Germany wins. Agree the contours of the deal with Berlin 
  8. Don’t mention the war: Just don’t.

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