The ratification of the fourth memorandum requires decisions and new political planning from everyone. The debt issue remains, though it’s likely that some sort of solution will emerge in July. However, if the Germans, and particularly Wolfgang Schaeuble, scupper the deal, Greece’s position in Europe will be put into jeopardy.
Regardless of who is in power, a refusal to ease Greece’s debt burden will result in a second grave injury. The first was when debt relief talks were put off even after the Samaras government achieved a primary surplus. As a nation, we cannot tolerate such an injustice again. Beyond the debt issue, however, we also need to see if the numbers will add up. Experts are skeptical and predict a continued slide and possibly a standstill in revenue collection. Even if this does not happen, we still have the question of when Greece will next go to elections.
The logical scenario is for elections to be conducted in the fall of 2018, before the measures that were voted through on Thursday night go into effect.
Government officials, however, insist that the administration will see out its four-year term. They claim that pension cuts don’t apply to their “clients” and, with a hefty dose of cynicism, expect their voters to cheer when they hear the complaints of the victims of these cuts.
They are also planning in that time to make thousands of civil service appointments, spread a few scandals and do their best to weaken and divide New Democracy. The truth is that politics always seems straightforward and predictable on paper. In reality, though, it has the capacity to destroy even the best-laid plans.
The main opposition, however, also needs a strong plan, as it has just one or two years to consolidate its lead in the polls and convince voters that it is ready to govern.
Waiting for the perfect time is not an option. It also doesn’t suit Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was elected as the party’s leader to bring change. New faces are needed in order to convince voters that ND will not be relying on relics from the past. The party also needs a fresh rhetoric that will resonate with the people. There is time to do this, but first the party leader needs to gain confidence in the instincts that brought him from being an outsider to the position he holds today.