Suzanne Daley is a foreign correspondent covering Europe for The New York Times.
Like prizefighters, the two sides of the negotiations over the Greek bailout have been circling each other, throwing punch after punch.
On Friday, Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, headed to Russia and suggested he was looking for “safe harbors,” while the day before officials at the European Central Bank sent gasps through Athens by declaring that Greek banks might not open on Monday.
It is a mesmerizing slugfest, if only because it is so out of step with the way things are usually done in the pastel corridors of the European Union headquarters in Brussels, where agreements are hashed out behind closed doors and all parties emerge with smiles and set scripts.
Perhaps as never before, Europe — and indeed the world — are witnessing a messy public negotiation, where each side seems willing to predict the end of civilization as we know it unless the other caves in.
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