Political intentions and investment grade

Political intentions and investment grade

Following the appearance of Greece’s party leaders at the Thessaloniki International Fair, we now have a clearer picture of the political landscape as we head into general elections.

As he said in his speech, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is seeking a strong mandate that will allow him to form a government that will be in a position to take decisions swiftly to deal with the major challenges facing the country. Top among these is the cold “Russian” winter lying ahead and Europe’s natural gas shortages. According to the premier, a strong government (not necessarily a single-party one) that does not have to constantly bargain for every decision, could emerge from the second round (with an enhanced majority). This does not, however, mean that the first round will be meaningless, since the simple proportional system contains the risk of an accident – theoretically, a government can be formed without the first party.

SYRIZA opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, however, stressed that the leftist party is not banking on such a mishap and will not form a government unless it comes first in the first round. There is no way, he said, that it will participate in a government of “losers” (SYRIZA, PASOK, MeRA25 and the Greek Communist Party) if the ruling conservative New Democracy party comes first. His aim is a broad, progressive government with PASOK as SYRIZA’s main partner.

PASOK chief Nikos Androulakis, for his part, sent the message that a vote for the socialists is a vote for stability. He even hinted at the possibility of cooperation with the leading party in order to spare the country unnecessary instability. “We don’t need to rush into scenarios about different cooperations. Let the people judge each of us first. I will handle whatever mandate I am given responsibly,” he said.

The country’s three biggest parties will, therefore, be giving it their all to garner the best possible result on the first Sunday of voting, even though it is more than likely that a government will not emerge until the second Sunday, whether a single-party one led by the top party or a coalition. The possibility of a third round that would thrust the country into a long period of uncertainty is unlikely.

The prospect of a stable government – after a “monster” alliance was ruled out and personal agendas were pushed aside – is crucial to developments, because it brings Greece one step closer to the much-coveted investment grade rating.

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