OPINION

Even without the troika

If what sources are telling us is correct, Germany and Brussels have decided that Greece should not be ousted from the eurozone just like that. Rather, the debt-hit country must be dealt with as a very problematic subsidiary which needs to be streamlined as soon as possible. Greece, in other words, needs to get back on its feet, create a workable state apparatus, an efficient tax-collecting mechanism and so on.

The reasons for the changed attitudes toward Athens are debatable. For one, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras seems to have convinced his European peers that he is serious about reforming the country. They were probably also influenced by concerns that an unruly exit from the euro area would be costly and dangerous for everyone else. Perhaps geopolitical concerns also played a part, with officials admitting that Greeks may be a pain, but it?s hard to think of the EU without them. Finally, maybe no one really wanted to see a bad ending with Greece suddenly turning into a failed state.

Do our foreign peers have what it takes to see this through, or will they share the fate of the Bavarian modernizers? To be sure, they know us well by now. Their analysis of the Greek condition goes stunningly deep. OK, they get shocked today by stories of eye-popping bureaucracy and corruption, but the knowledge of the basic pillars that make our rotten system is there.

It?s up to us whether we will be able to rebuild the country, making use of the foreigners? aid and experience. Unfortunately, their involvement here has so far been associated with brutal wage and pension cuts and business closures. The vast majority of the public knows what has to change, but when they hear the word ?reform? they instantly check their wallet to see if they have enough money to make it to the end of the month.

Understandable reactions are used as cover by the champions of inertia and the interests that blossom in the dark of corruption and administrative chaos.

Very few politicians have the courage to say in public that this or that has to change, not because the troika is pressing us to do so but because it would be good for the Greeks.

So we languish in stagnation. If only there was a way that we could shake Greece on our own — just for the sake of the country.