Monday September 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The element of political risk

By Alexis Papachelas

I dont 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 countrys recovery. There are enough signs to suggest that the economy has hit rock bottom. That is not necessarily someones doing. Sometimes it is just the forces of nature at work and it seems that the current level of GDP is where the countrys 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 countrys 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 wouldnt 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 Mays 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)  
A great president
Dont feed the zombies
Keeping an eye on international developments
A few good men
Excavation work at Amphipolis reveals section of marble mosaic floor
Excavation work at the site of Ancient Amphipolis, in central Macedonia, has revealed a mosaic of random while marble pieces against a red background, the Ministry of Culture has said. The m...
Greek officials meet to fine tune strategy for Paris talks with troika
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet with his coalition partner, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, and Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis on Monday ahead of crucial two-day talks w...
Inside News
Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
The prospect of a Formula One racing track in the Greek capital, first raised nearly half a century ago, has re-emerged, sparked by comments on the issue from Bernie Ecclestone, president an...
ANALYSIS
Juggling lighter tax burden and fiscal targets
The Greek government is under pressure from its own backers and society in general to lighten the tax burden at the same time as international lenders are demanding ambitious fiscal targets ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Fulham striker Mitroglou set to re-join Olympiakos
Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus are set to re-sign Kostas Mitroglou on loan from English second tier club Fulham after the striker arrived in Athens for talks on Sunday. An Olympiakos spo...
SOCCER
Tough draw for Greek sides in Europa League group stage
Following Thursday nights high, when all three Greek teams competing in the Europa League made it into the group stage of the competition, a harsh reality struck Friday as they found out wh...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Excavation work at Amphipolis reveals section of marble mosaic floor
2. Greek officials meet to fine tune strategy for Paris talks with troika
3. Fulham striker Mitroglou set to re-join Olympiakos
4. Large fire in Crete brought under partial control
5. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
6. Juggling lighter tax burden and fiscal targets
more news
Today
This Week
1. A great president
2. Dont feed the zombies
3. Greek officials meet to fine tune strategy for Paris talks with troika
4. Excavation work at Amphipolis reveals section of marble mosaic floor
5. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
6. Juggling lighter tax burden and fiscal targets
Today
This Week
1. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
2. The battle against progress
3. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
4. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.