Wednesday October 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
11o 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. What’s 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. It’s 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. It’s not that he fails to share people’s 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 Stournaras’s 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)  
The ECB collateral for Greece must be lowered to 5 pct
The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
Self-opposing coalition
Gutsy rectors
Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
Archaeologists digging at a tomb dating to the era of Alexander the Great in ancient Amphipolis in northern Greece have found the missing head of one of the two sphinxes guarding the entranc...
Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
A dispute between New Democracy and PASOK over civil servants’ salaries continued Tuesday, underlining the big task facing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos ...
Inside News
Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
Analysts, investment banks and institutional investors appear optimistic regarding the results of the European Central Bank stress tests on local lenders, which has been mirrored in the perf...
Certainty on primary surplus target
The state budget’s primary surplus beat expectations by almost a billion euros in the first nine months of the year, General Accounting Office data confirmed on Tuesday, but tax revenues and...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
2. Certainty on primary surplus target
3. Feverish talks on payment plan proposals
4. TUI promises even more tourists
5. Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
6. Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
more news
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Gang importing heroin into Greece busted
3. Greece said to seek tailor-made plan for bailout exit
4. Self-opposing coalition
5. Gutsy rectors
6. Applications for heating oil subsidy set to start
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
4. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.