Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Problems on many fronts

By Costas Iordanidis

The situation in Greece is looking very bleak indeed. On the one hand, the relationship between Athens and its international lenders is becoming increasingly tense, though the blame does not lie exclusively with the troika representatives, who have vastly differing opinions over how the Greek debt pile should be managed. Under pressure, the government has decided to act alone on a matter of different issues, expressing resistance toward reforms and processes whose necessity had already been agreed upon. Examples include the ratification of the 2014 budget, the reduction of VAT on food service and changes to property tax without taking the troikaís considerations on board. Changes can be made only when they are agreed upon. Unilateral decisions are unacceptable because they set a precedent that may be imitated by other countries in future bailout programs.

The government probably thought that the countryís lenders would show more leniency when presented with the argument that without some slack Greece will most likely end up with a SYRIZA government. This political argument did not receive the anticipated response, just like political arguments on economic matters have failed in the past, such as when PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos was handed the finance portfolio. Fiscal changes for bailed-out nations are made according to the terms of economics rather than politics.

Beyond what is going on in the eurozone, the government is also facing problems on the domestic front as SYRIZA continues to gain increasing influence among voters. As a result, the confrontation has shifted focus and more recently has centered on the issue of terrorism. There is no doubt that some members of the leftist party hold unconventional views regarding what constitutes domestic security, but the escape of November 17ís Christodoulos Xeros was obviously not orchestrated by SYRIZA, which demanded, with some delay, the resignation of the responsible ministers.

The other problem is that PASOK is fading gradually from the political scene and New Democracy still faces the major challenge of how to hold on to its traditional conservative voters. The crackdown on ultra-right Golden Dawn was not the glorious success anticipated and Greeceís assumption of the EU presidency has not improved the governmentís image as it had hoped, but, rather, has been absorbing energy and focus from economic matters.

The result of all these factors being in play at the same time is more jitters and polarization, which have reached such a degree in Parliament that they may pose a risk to the democratic system.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 23, 2014 (09:35)  
Tension for tensionís sake?
Testing ground
Defusing a crisis
PM needs to step up
Athens, Nicosia satisfied by EU leadersī stance toward Ankara
A reference in Fridayís European Council conclusions calling on Turkey to respect Cyprusís sovereign rights left Athens and Nicosia content with the outcome of the European Union leadersí su...
Suspended policeman chief suspect in cousinís murder
A 27-year-old police officer who has been suspended from duty since 2013 for extortion, is being treated as the chief suspect in a murder committed in a suburb of Piraeus on Thursday. Police...
Inside News
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
Greeceís trade deficit shrank 29.5 percent year-on-year in August as a result of the considerable 16.3 percent decline in imports, Hellenic Statistical Authority figures revealed on Friday. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
†RECENT NEWS
1. A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
2. TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
3. Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
4. SMEs unable to claim subsidies
5. Taxes kept growing in second quarter
6. Thessaloniki Port expects 2014 to be record year
more news
Today
This Week
1. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
2. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
3. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
4. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
5. Cyprus GDP upgrade seen as boosting bailout exit plans
6. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeceís closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Samarasís crumbling Greek exit lacks backing from economists
†††Find us ...
††... on
Twitter
†† ††... on Facebook ††
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.