Sunday November 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o 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)  
Is Europe paying attention?
A reasonable agreement
Give Greece a chance
Who lost Greece?
Cyprus on agenda in Biden visit to Istanbul
The prospects for the resumption of stalled peace talks on Cyprus and the issue of energy security were among the matters discussed on Saturday by US Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish gov...
PASOK nixes Papandreou leadership challenge
The junior coalition partner PASOK rejected over the weekend a proposal by the partys former leader and ex-premier George Papandreou for the party to call an emergency congress and a subseq...
Inside News
Fitch keeps Greek rating at B, outlook stable
Fitch Ratings retained Greeces sovereign credit rating at B and its outlook as stable late on Friday but warned of a downgrade should snap elections prove inconclusive or negotiations wit...
More cash for banks with same papers
Greek banks will be able to draw additional liquidity from the European Central Bank after Frankfurt issued a guideline on Friday that revises the haircut applying to securities issued or ...
Inside Business
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japans image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
BASKETBALL
Big win for Greens, tight one for Reds
Panathinaikos scored a crucial as well as emphatic away win at Turow on Thursday that should see it qualify from its tough group to the top 16 of the Euroleague, while Olympiakos saw off vis...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Cyprus on agenda in Biden visit to Istanbul
2. PASOK nixes Papandreou leadership challenge
3. Troika tests govt nerves as budget rift persists
4. Climate change to hit farming, Greek coastline
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. London court to rule on extradition of former judge
more news
Today
This Week
1. PASOK nixes Papandreou leadership challenge
2. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
3. Climate change to hit farming, Greek coastline
4. Fitch keeps Greek rating at B, outlook stable
5. Cyprus on agenda in Biden visit to Istanbul
6. Troika tests govt nerves as budget rift persists
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Greece and Poland switch roles as young Greeks head to vibrant Eastern European country for better prospects
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Every age has its collaborators
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.