Friday March 6, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The element of political risk

By Alexis Papachelas

I don’t know if 2014 will be considered a success story for Greece, but I have heard from many serious people who are not blinkered by politics that they believe this could be a year of stability and of the start of the country’s recovery. There are enough signs to suggest that the economy has hit rock bottom. That is not necessarily someone’s doing. Sometimes it is just the forces of nature at work and it seems that the current level of GDP is where the country’s descent will end. Of course there are those who deny that is the case, especially if they believe that the cleanup of several crucial sectors is long overdue. However, everyone would agree that the economic recovery will not entail an instant improvement in the unemployment rate.

The second observation made by market experts is that foreign players see something in Greece that we do not. These are people with cash who believe that Greece abounds with opportunities and are ready to invest. The lead, as usual, is taken by the opportunists in the shape of various funds willing to take greater risks. These are players who have studied Greece extensively and who know its disadvantages, such as the inefficient public administration and the reactions that investments inevitably stir. Despite this, however, they continue to show a keen interest, maybe because they believe that the country’s lenders will eventually make one last grand gesture on the debt issue.

That, however, is where the good news ends, because we also have to factor in the element of political risk. On the one hand the government has failed to lower expectations regarding its performance in the European elections and, on the other, the opposition has turned the political arena into a battleground. If we were talking about a shift in power between, say, Christian democrats and social democrats, there wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, we are seeing threats and heavy-handed rhetoric and cannot say with any certainty what the political landscape will look like after May’s polls. A large section of the public has run out of patience and is angry; it is almost impossible to find a single person who is not fed up.

And this is where the risk of self-fulfilling prophecy lies: Just as the economy starts to reach an equilibrium, the political scene will be on shaky ground and the backslide will continue. As is usual in such cases, uncertainty and fear over political developments will freeze the markets and therefore intensify the political instability. How can we end this vicious cycle and make 2014 the year that Greece restarts? Well, that is the big question indeed.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday Jan 19, 2014 (15:42)  
PISA, Schengen, mediocrity and isolation
New blood, fresh ideas
Balancing the Greek budget: The ancient Athenian perspective
Greek-Turkish relations
Greece sends proposals, but no decision due at Monday´s Eurogroup
Greece submitted to Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem Friday an outline of seven reform proposals to form the basis for discussion at Monday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers, but th...
Samaras braces for second round of in-party strife
After a marathon meeting of New Democracy’s MPs where party chief Antonis Samaras sought to affirm his status as top dog inside the conservative opposition, the former prime minister is brac...
Inside News
ECB asks for cut in recognized deferred tax assets
The European Central Bank is calling for changes regarding the recognition of banks’ deferred tax assets, effectively raising the prospect of fresh share capital increases. Sector sources sa...
New NPLs in Jan-Feb put at 2 billion euros
After several months of decline in the local credit sector’s creation rate of new bad loans, banks are reporting a sudden rebound in the growth rate in January and February 2015. Estimates b...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Tsatoumas just misses out on a Euro medal
Louis Tsatoumas narrowly missed out on a medal at the European Indoor Championships in Prague on Friday, as despite faring below his usual standard he was third until up to the last few jump...
BASKETBALL
Barcelona beats Panathinaikos once more
For the fourth time this season Panathinaikos failed to beat Barcelona, this time in Athens, losing 81-77 on Thursday and denting its chances for a privileged top-two finish in its Euroleagu...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Tsatoumas just misses out on a Euro medal
2. ECB asks for cut in recognized deferred tax assets
3. New NPLs in Jan-Feb put at 2 billion euros
4. Interest alive in property investment sector
5. Businesses reluctant to tap financing
6. Revenue drop points to more measures
more news
Today
This Week
1. BoG chief Stournaras briefs PM Tsipras on ECB's decisions on Greece [Update]
2. Cash-strapped Greece repays first part of IMF loan due in March
3. Greek and German bruisers limber up for 'rumble in the eurozone'
4. Greece must repay loans in full, bailout fund head says
5. Greek reforms list cites tackling evasion, fiscal savings, source says
6. Greece sends new letter with details on reforms, sources in Brussels say
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. The Greek tax drama
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. Varoufakis to make six reform proposals at Monday's Eurogroup
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.