Saturday November 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
10o 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 troika’s 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 country’s 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 17’s 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 Greece’s assumption of the EU presidency has not improved the government’s 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)  
Give Greece a chance
‘Who lost Greece?’
Myopic partisanship
Suicidal moves
Image of artwork showing humans in blender taken out of schoolbooks
A photograph of a controversial work by a Japanese artist showing people in a blender will be removed from a primary school physics textbook, the Education Ministry said on Friday. The paint...
Simitis supports Venizelos over new movement
Former Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday backed PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos’s proposal to create a new center-left party with the Socialists at its heart. The two men met a day af...
Inside News
More cash for banks with same papers
Greek banks will be able to draw additional liquidity from the European Central Bank after Frankfurt issued a guideline on Friday that revises the “haircut” applying to securities issued or ...
Growth to fuel rise in revenues
Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis on Friday tabled in Parliament the final draft of the 2015 budget which is in line with the targets of the country’s bailout agreement with its creditors a...
Inside Business
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japan’s image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
BASKETBALL
Big win for Greens, tight one for Reds
Panathinaikos scored a crucial as well as emphatic away win at Turow on Thursday that should see it qualify from its tough group to the top 16 of the Euroleague, while Olympiakos saw off vis...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Image of artwork showing humans in blender taken out of schoolbooks
2. More cash for banks with same papers
3. Simitis supports Venizelos over new movement
4. Growth to fuel rise in revenues
5. Commercial property draws interest from investors
6. Sony chooses Piraeus as its entry point to Europe
more news
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Cosco’s Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
3. No breakthrough after marathon conference call
4. Israel backs East Med pipeline project
5. Education Ministry mulls over introducing Albanian language classes
6. Greece says EU/IMF lenders disagree with 2015 budget deficit estimate
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Greece and Poland switch roles as young Greeks head to vibrant Eastern European country for better prospects
3. Constructively disrupting the Greek start-up ecosystem: What will the impact be?
4. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
5. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.