Although last week’s dire evaluation of the Greek economy by the European Commission in its third enhanced surveillance report is not currently dominating the public debate ahead of next month’s national elections, it will no doubt top the agenda of the new government that will be formed the day after.
The most pressing issues will be whether the recent handouts of the leftist administration of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will threaten the agreed fiscal target of a 3.5 percent surplus.
Moreover, the country’s next government will be confronted with the problematic liquidity of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and the anemic growth rate of the Greek economy.
Another thorn is the still large portfolio of nonperforming loans held by Greek banks and the fact that no agreement has been struck with the EC for their proposed reduction through state guarantees.
At the moment, Tsipras’ most pressing priority is to find the strategy that will reverse the slide in his party’s popularity that was made abundantly clear after its resounding defeats to conservative New Democracy in the recent regional, local and European Parliament elections. But this will be a tall order given the public outcry over last week’s 11th hour bid to transfer scores of civil servants – many of them relatives of senior government officials – to posts in Parliament.
The government was forced to freeze the transfer in its tracks after a hail of opposition fire that it was essentially pursuing old-school tactics of nepotism.
Ruling SYRIZA will also have to overcome the backlash last week over its much-maligned initiative to submit a flurry of last-minute amendments to Parliament before its dissolution for the national election.