The year 2015 started with a great promise for austerity-harmed people in Greece, but within a few months the promise began to fade as reality sunk in. It was a year that the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) achieved a historic electoral triumph in Greece. SYRIZA came to power promising to end the austerity era. However, from its first days in office, the new government realized that keeping this promise would be a far greater challenge than winning the election. Cancelation of the austerity measures required renegotiation of Greece's bailout loans, loans that were conditional on Greece's implementation of these measures. Given that the European lenders had their reasons for setting things up this way, it was not long before Greece's strong anti-austerity drive set the country on a collision course with the eurozone. The negotiations between the two sides are examined in this essay through the perspective of Greece's half-century-long relationship with the European Union and against a backdrop of personal observations and comment, relevant public sentiments, and critical events defining each period discussed.

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