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That is at least one way to describe the result of the Greek general election on Sept. 20 .While the percentage of voters backing the government is relatively unchanged, 0.6 million of the 6.1 million Greeks who voted in the July 5 referendum on continued "extend-and-pretend" loans with stringent austerity strings attached did not turn out.The government that was returned on Sept. 20 has the opposite mandate: to implement an "extend-and-pretend" bailout program – indeed, the most toxic variant ever.Tsipras understands that his government is skating on the thin ice of a fiscal program that cannot succeed and a reform agenda that his ministers loathe.There is little doubt that the Greek government will gain some debt relief.The question facing the Tsipras government is thus whether the next haircut will be more therapeutic than the last. If the government can pull it off, it is a potential game changer.To succeed, however, the government will have to slay two dragons at once: The incompetence of Greece's public administration and the inexhaustible resourcefulness of an oligarchy that knows how to defend itself – including by forging strong alliances with the troika.
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