Monday December 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
A challenging role

By Alexis Papachelas

Yannis Stournaras has already started bidding his farewells to the Finance Ministry, possibly sooner that he expected. The truth is that he held his own in an exceptionally volatile environment and from an extremely difficult position. There is nothing easy about surviving the joint pressure of the creditors and the domestic political system, and especially of those who are often pulling strings behind the scenes. If you are also the kind of person who speaks the truth with courage and without factoring in the political cost and the effects your decisions have on your party and your government, this only makes your job (and that of your superior) that much harder.

What has kept Stournaras standing is his unwavering optimism and his focus on the goals he has to reach. He is obviously a man who relishes a good challenge and who needs almost unachievable goals in order to really hit his stride. Whats impressive is that he does this with an icy indifference to what is being said about him. And there is no doubt that his demeanor angered a lot of citizens. Its not easy to be stuck in the quagmire of taxation or to see your home at risk because of new measures while listening to someone telling you, again and again, that while your anger may be justified, achieving a primary surplus is the ultimate goal.

Stournaras skillfully and ably played his dual role of good guy and bad guy a role that all finance ministers have to play. He did it with a sense of humor even when the barbs leveled against him hit their mark and hurt. In one sense he knew that his dry technocratic style, without the usual antics of political management, could only take him so far in a country with the kind of idiosyncrasies Greece has. He ultimately struck a combination of styles that delivered, both abroad and to a lesser extent at home.

His Achilles heel is perhaps his ignorance on practical aspects which are extremely important to the rest of us. Its not that he fails to share peoples pain, as it were, but maybe that he is not that interested in issues such as the tax system, which are key to millions of people. All that might be of little importance if Greece had a traditional economy minister dealing only with spending and revenues.

In any case, there are many outstanding issues that can only be dealt with by a streetwise politician with a fair share of common sense. Greece is near the end of a chapter which will be concluded with the big discussion on debt restructuring. The anger and pain from the austerity measures runs deep, but Stournarass role in restoring stability and steering the nation back to normalcy has been neither small nor easy.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday April 1, 2014 (09:30)  
Crisis of confidence will come back again and again, says Thomas Piketty
Who lost Greece
Snubbing the moderates
The big picture
Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday presented a compromise solution to end a political stalemate that looks likely to send Greece to early general elections in about a month's time. Spe...
Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
The government over the weekend appeared to backpedal on proposed amendments widely seen as compromising legislation protecting Greek forests as well as Plaka, Athenss old quarter. The bill...
Inside News
Political saga is harming liquidity
Greece is likely to hold snap elections in early February, extending the period of political uncertainty for another month-and-a-half, if not more. This will have economic consequences, perh...
Bad timing for tenders as oil rates decline
The first major opening of the domestic hydrocarbon market happens to have coincided with the unexpected and rapid decline in global oil prices. This has raised concerns in the Energy Minist...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
PAOK scraped through its Livadia challenge beating Levadiakos to remain on top of the Super League for Christmas, one point ahead of Olympiakos that enjoyed a great game at Kalloni and offer...
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
2. Political saga is harming liquidity
3. Bad timing for tenders as oil rates decline
4. Tax exemptions deprive state budget of over 3.5 bln euros
5. Teiresias to track letters of guarantee
6. Agenda
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
2. Who lost Greece
3. Crisis of confidence will come back again and again, says Thomas Piketty
4. Snubbing the moderates
5. Agenda
6. Teiresias to track letters of guarantee
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. High stakes
5. On the edge but not gutless
6. Girl, aged 11, gives birth on Crete
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.