Tuesday December 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
13o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The storm that lies ahead

By Alexis Papachelas

There was a time when I thought I was living in a slightly boring country during a rather bland period of history without crises, big surprises or major disasters. I am not so sure any more.

What I do know is that the Greek condition is in part a symptom of the tectonic shifts that are taking place and that are redefining Europe’s position in the world, and perhaps even the West’s general position in the greater scheme of things.

Europe needs to become more dynamic and less complacent if it wants to survive in the battle of global competition. International capital is fast fleeing the continent as a whole, be it in the form of loans or in that of investment.

The Northern European elite believes that the rest of Europe needs to adopt its economic model in order to survive. But economic planning is one thing for a country like China and quite another for Europe, a complex, maybe even dysfunctional collection of democracies.

Take Italy, for example. The European elite’s plan for the turnaround of the countries of the south was based on the idea that Italy would have a coalition government of center-left or the serious center-right parties led by Mario Monti. Enter Silvio Berlusconi, who started poking fun, making promises and bashing the Germans. The elite’s plan has collapsed and Berlusconi might now emerge as the key player in future developments in Italy.

What would this mean? It could mean that the Italian spreads will skyrocket, deepening the debt crisis and even challenging the monetary union in Italy and other countries in Europe’s south. We will certainly not get bored over the next few weeks watching Berlin and Rome wrangle it out.

What the Berlusconi case shows us, however, is that there is much in Europe we should be concerned about. The distance between the continent’s elite and its people is widening dangerously and growing unrest may have very unpredictable consequences. Cultural and other rifts are also deepening, making any long-term planning extremely difficult due to the unpredictable nature of the situation. Meanwhile, Europe is faced with the notorious “markets,” key players in developments that don’t have the patience either for the fine act of achieving political balance or for any hesitation over the implementation of structural reforms.

With all these different and important factors at play, I am starting to think that what we are experiencing in Greece today may just be a herald of the storm that lies ahead for Europe as a whole.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday February 12, 2013 (22:22)  
Klaus Regling stresses debt sustainability through commitment to reforms
‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
Who lost Greece
Snubbing the moderates
Gov´t seeks better result in second presidential vote as bribe claim probe shelved
With all political parties now actively preparing for the prospect of snap elections, MPs are to vote in the second ballot of a critical three-phase presidential vote at noon on Tuesday. The...
Civil servants to grade evaluation scheme
As of Monday, Greek civil servants are now able to have a say in the public sector evaluation scheme that is currently undergoing fine-tuning by the Ministry of Administrative Reform. By log...
Inside News
October data show fleeing bondholders
October data compiled by the Bank of Greece confirm that foreign investors are letting go of their Greek bonds, as within just one month the country’s central bank recorded an outflow of 1.7...
Expired debts to the state soar to more than 72 bln euros
Households’ inability to keep up with their tax payments combined with anticipation of the new repayment plans, which were finally announced a few weeks ago, led to expired debts to the stat...
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. October data show fleeing bondholders
2. Expired debts to the state soar to more than 72 bln euros
3. First four contracts to fund small firms signed by IfG and banks
4. Investors putting plans on hold
5. Gov´t seeks better result in second presidential vote as bribe claim probe shelved
6. Civil servants to grade evaluation scheme
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek parliament vote in balance after Samaras election offer
2. Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
3. Prosecutor gathers depositions in Independent Greeks 'bribe' probe
4. Government accuses SYRIZA and Independent Greeks of 'clear alliance'
5. Klaus Regling stresses debt sustainability through commitment to reforms
6. Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. High stakes
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. On the edge but not gutless
5. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
6. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.