Got to be cruel to be kind

Every finance minister appointed in Greece must play the role of the bad guy and be able to resist pressure from deputies, other ministers, unionists, powerful lobbies and all sorts of others who demand more money, special privileges or exemption from certain regulations.

The role of finance minister is a tough one indeed – it is also dangerous.

However, when the government does not have a finance chief who is willing to be unpleasant when necessary and who doesn’t have the guts to stand his ground, then there is a very serious risk that the fiscal adjustment program which Greece is implementing to overcome the crisis will be derailed.

The pressure on the finance minister right now is enormous and will only get worse. He needs to stick to his guns and start saying no to a few people to curb the pressure on the country’s deputies and unions before it becomes overwhelming.