For all of the angst, Tsipras emerged with some credit for pushing back some of the most provocative proposals put forward by hardline creditors early in the negotiations. The idea of a “time out” from the euro zone if Greece didn’t toe the line was scrapped, as was having a foreign-owned fund take control of Greek assets marked for privatization. The proposed deal also promises to consider relaxing loan repayment terms, if Greece keeps up with agreed conditions.

Speaking of conditions, before it even sees a contract offering new aid, the Greek parliament must pass a series of measures—namely, tax increases and pension cuts—by Wednesday (July 15). Other reforms are laid out in great detail, and represent a significant ceding of sovereignty in the name of “rebuilding trust” with creditors, an imperative that the Germans, Dutch, Finns, and other hardliners were keen to stress.

In almost all aspects, the deal that emerged today is worse than the one that the Greeks roundly rejected in a referendum two weeks ago (and, famously, the former finance minister said amounted to “terrorism”). Having appealed to democracy to strengthen his hand in the negotiations, Tsipras found that the gambit served mainly to harden the resistance of creditors, who after all must answer to their own weary electorates. The eventual deal presented to the Greeks “will go down as one of the most brutal diplomatic démarches in the history of the European Union,” declared the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

The Greek prime minister must now cobble together support for the unpopular austerity measures against the wishes of many in his own party. Opposition parties are expected to lend support to pass the required laws, which might require a new governing coalition or even trigger snap elections. Meanwhile, Greece’s cash-strapped banks will remain closed for the foreseeable future, keeping the country’s economy at a virtual standstill.

Having misjudged how close officials were willing to go towards Grexit, analysts are cautious about the prospects for today’s deal actually putting Greece’s economy back on track. “A lot can still go wrong,” said Berenberg Bank (pdf). “We remain in the path of Grexit and everything needs to go perfect to avoid it,” Bank of America wrote in a note to clients.

If you love dangerous and destabilizing brinkmanship, fear not: There is still plenty of scope for more in the coming days and weeks. Things could very easily fall apart, meaning that today’s deal will merely delay Grexit rather than prevent it. But having stared into the abyss, euro zone leaders seem to have decided to keep their union together, for now. This conclusion came much later and with considerably more rancor than expected, but Europe’s often underrated capacity for compromise—to fudge the big decisions when push comes to shove—remains intact.

“In this compromise, there are no winners and no losers,” said European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. “I don’t think the Greek people have been humiliated, nor that the other Europeans have lost face. It is a typical European arrangement.”

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