Wednesday October 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
28o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Summer turbulence

By Costas Iordanidis

High summer temperatures appear to have messed with the reflexes of officials at the top echelons of Greece’s power-sharing administration. A sense of anxiety has gripped the political system and it feels as if the country is in pre-election mode. Optimistic projections are made one day, only to be refuted on the next.

All of a sudden, it was announced that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had decided to hold the September 3-5 meeting with troika officials in Paris so as to avoid the tension generated by the inspectors’ occasional visits to the Greek capital.

Some officials went so far as to interpret the decision as a confirmation that confidence in Greece was finally restored – a feat that rendered the troika’s actual presence in Athens almost unnecessary. Only the very next day, a representative for the European Commission said that notwithstanding the Paris meeting, representatives of Greece’s foreign lenders would still travel to Athens to carry out the fifth review of the country’s adjustment program as planned.

Impervious to the fact that Greece went bankrupt in 2010, successive administrations have over the past four years tried to create a virtual reality. What really happened, of course, is that the country avoided a credit event by borrowing money under very tough terms in order to stay in the eurozone. Of course, European banks, which were exposed to toxic Greek bonds, were also saved. Greece is going through a controlled default but it has now relinquished the bargaining power of being the weakest link that can break but at the same time take the entire European system down with it.

The handling of the Greek debt crisis has impacted on the country’s political system. Forty years after the end of the country’s military dictatorship, we are now faced not with a reboot but with a complete breakdown. Traditional PASOK voters have defected en masse to SYRIZA while New Democracy has over the past couple of years struggled in vain to steal right-wing voters back from Golden Dawn.

Some thought that pre-election handouts would lure members of the armed forces and the emergency services. Failure of that policy was confirmed by the results of European elections and the strong showing of GD. The Council of State ruled that the cuts to army and police wages were unconstitutional but new Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said that the court had no say on the issue.

All that happened in July. Let’s hope that Greek politicians will keep silent through August. Their incoherence is not the only problem. The bourgeois leadership of the center right lost the control over the Right. It is no longer acknowledged as “political authority” and as a result things are continuing outside conventional patterns. This is unprecedented at a time of political stability and it could be a harbinger of instability.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jul 31, 2014 (15:08)  
Truth before the battle
Bending the rules
Next-day jitters
No sweet debt deals
New suburban railway station opens in Athens suburb of Tavros
Transport Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Wednesday inaugurated a new station on the Athens-Piraeus Proastiakos suburban railway line. The new station in Tavros, near Athens's southern co...
Thessaloniki transport gets more expensive
October began with more expensive public transportation for the residents of the northern port city of Thessaloniki, as the OATH transit authority introduces fare hikes in a bid to boost rev...
Inside News
Mario Draghi to push ECB to buy Greek, Cypriot ´junk´ loans: FT
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is set to push the ECB to buy junk-rated Greek and Cypriot bank loans, a move that may increase tensions between Germany and the bank, the Financ...
NBG Pangaea eyes listing on foreign bourse, huge portfolio
Leading Greek property investment company NBG Pangaea is getting ready to spread its wings as it eyes the creation of a major portfolio worth up to 4 billion euros to be listed not only on t...
Inside Business
SOCCER
All team sports suspended next weekend in memory of dead fan
The government announced on Monday the suspension of all team sports events in Greece scheduled for next weekend, October 4 and 5, in the memory of the Ethnikos Piraeus fan who died a few ho...
SOCCER
Karamanos punishes Michel for deeming him surplus
Atromitos forced Olympiakos’s first loss this season in all competitions on Saturday to allow PAOK to go alone on top of the Super League table on Sunday. Odds-on title favorite Olympiakos l...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Mario Draghi to push ECB to buy Greek, Cypriot ´junk´ loans: FT
2. New suburban railway station opens in Athens suburb of Tavros
3. Thessaloniki transport gets more expensive
4. Smallpox decimates sheep stocks in northern Greece
5. Air-raid sirens to go off all over Greece at 11 a.m. in drill
6. NBG Pangaea eyes listing on foreign bourse, huge portfolio
more news
Today
This Week
1. Air-raid sirens to go off all over Greece at 11 a.m. in drill
2. Bending the rules
3. Truth before the battle
4. Smallpox decimates sheep stocks in northern Greece
5. Thessaloniki transport gets more expensive
6. New suburban railway station opens in Athens suburb of Tavros
Today
This Week
1. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
2. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
3. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
4. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
5. Cypriots divided by 1974 war seek Shariah hub
6. The shocking thought of euro-dollar parity
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.