Wednesday August 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The perennial question

By Pantelis Boukalas

It may sound cliche, but it’s true: You cannot change the past. You can’t cajole or damn it into becoming something that it is not. You can’t call back the presses to make retroactive corrections and delayed hypotheses. But the human mind is built in such a way as to ponder all things, be they big or small, and form new possibilities and make new speculations in hindsight. So the cold winds that blew in from Berlin and Washington uttering “if,” snuffing the usual fervent post-election promises, in this case an end to austerity, seem reasonable when seen through this prism.

If, for example, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had said what he did about a third austerity package for Greece a few days before the country’s citizens went to the polls rather than after, how would that have influenced the elections and to what extent? Would voters have been angered by the German minister’s revival of speculation regarding Greece’s future in the eurozone – and especially at a time when everyone seemed convinced that an exit was out of the question due to the great, constant sacrifices made by the Greek people? And what of the people’s wounded pride, the result of a widely admitted loss of sovereignty, which weighs if not less then just as heavily as economic sacrifice? Finally, how strong would the political earthquake have been if the International Monetary Fund had released its report on the progress of the Greek economy, foreseeing the need for new measures, before the elections instead of now?

These are scenarios for the film industry, not for history. Nevertheless, they seem inevitable. If voters had chosen which way they would go 20 or 30 days before the polls based mainly on their ideological approach and their fixed opinions, they would hardly be influenced by Schaeuble reopening an issue that they had believed firmly shut. However, public opinion polls showed that a significant part of the population – the “undecideds,” who played a decisive role in how the popular mandate panned out – weighed their feelings, ideas and the parties’ programs all the way to the final hour, waking up on election Sunday wondering who they should vote for.

Of course it is right to assume that had Schaeuble and the IMF come out with their announcements ahead of the elections, the government would have staunchly denied everything that was said after the polls. This is where another “if” arises. If citizens trusted the government more than the often-cynical lenders-supervisors, then they would completely disregard anything said by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde or German Chancellor Angela Merkel whenever they said it. If this were the case, of course, the two governing parties would not have shed around 13 percent of their support.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday June 3, 2014 (10:07)  
Logged out of reality
Manipulated institutions
The responsibility of the West
Skewed taxes
Botched steroid deal led to Mani murders
A deal to sell steroids gone wrong appears to have been the reason for the murder of two bodybuilding fanatics, aged 25 and 26, whose bodies were found on Tuesday in a ravine on the outskirt...
Public works near completion, minister says
Eight public works projects, including the completion of a new stretch of highway at the notorious Maliakos Gulf in central Greece, are due to be completed by the end of the year Infrastruct...
Inside News
Greek stocks post rise of 0.99 percent
The Athens Stock Exchange general index closed 0.99 percent higher on Wednesday, at 1,119.97 points, as turnover totaled 76.4 million euros. Among large-cap shares, Jumbo was the best perfor...
Banks reject stress test concerns
Greek banking sources are denying reports that the sector will need a new round of increased capital support, announcing that no such news has been delivered to them by the European Central ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Botched steroid deal led to Mani murders
2. Greek stocks post rise of 0.99 percent
3. Banks reject stress test concerns
4. Greek energy minister requests gas back-up
5. Greece an alternative route for South Stream, report suggests
6. Public works near completion, minister says
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek current account surplus widens in June
2. Two missing men found shot dead near Kalamata
3. Logged out of reality
4. Greek firms see 30 pct rise in PayPal payments from abroad in 2014
5. ECB in policy limbo, boxed in by its own plans
6. Greece to give children at primary school road safety lessons
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Samaras expects 'exceptionally important find' at Ancient Amphipolis
3. Rhodes villa built for Mussolini among properties Greek privatization fund is selling
4. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
5. Treating Amphipolis with care
6. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.