As soon as the announcement of a third bailout deal for Greece was announced on Monday, social media went wild, slamming Germany and Europe for the strict conditions attached to the rescue, with the hashtag #ThisIsACoup dominating feeds.
Greece and the rest of the euro zone came to a deal over reforms, debt and more aid Monday morning after marathon talks in a bid to stave off bankruptcy. As well as tax rises and spending cuts, Greece's left-wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras had to agree to a placing state assets into a 50 billion euro "trust" fund and passing legislation on the reforms before it talks even start on receiving aid.
"Tsipras had to concede on almost every point," Demetrios Efstathiou, head of CEEMEA Strategy at ICBC Standard Bank, said in a note Monday. "(German leader Angela) Merkel comes out as a winner, and should be able to get the deal though the German parliament."
The bailout talks, which started on Sunday and lasted 17 hours, sent Twitter into a tailspin with many users using the #ThisIsACoup hashtag to voice their anger at Germany and Europe as a whole, for its demands on – and humiliation of – Greece.
The hashtag is believed to have first been used by Sandro Maccarone after the Eurogroup of finance ministers met on Sunday ahead of euro zone leaders. Maccarone tweeted in Spanish that "the Eurogroup's proposal is a coup against the Greek people."
The hashtag quickly gained momentum and before long was being used by analysts, commentators and economists, including Paul Krugman, a well-known critic of the austerity measures advocated by Europe.
"Suppose you consider Tsipras an incompetent twerp. Suppose you dearly want to see Syriza out of power. Suppose, even, that you welcome the prospect of pushing those annoying Greeks out of the euro. Even if all of that is true, this Eurogroup list of demands is madness. The trending hashtag ThisIsACoup is exactly right. This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief."
In the past day, 312,143 people have used the hashtag, according to social media analytics site Topsy.com.