Some stability, please


In a normal country former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis would have led the country through September 2011 and whoever was elected after him would have governed until September 2015. We’ve become so accustomed to uncertainty that this may sound odd to some.

Anyone hoping to explain the sorry state of Greek affairs should take a look at the long list of PMs and finance ministers who have served since the crisis started: Costas Karamanlis, George Papandreou, Lucas Papademos, Panayiotis Pikramenos, Antonis Samaras and Alexis Tsipras as PMs; and Giorgos Papaconstantinou, Evangelos Venizelos, Giorgos Zanias, Filippos Sachinidis, Yannis Stournaras, Gikas Hardouvelis, Yanis Varoufakis and Euclid Tsakalotos as finance chiefs.

It does not make sense. The country is paying the price for ongoing political uncertainty and frequent elections. This would not be a problem if Greece had a state that was productive, efficient and unaffected by political developments – something that Cyprus and Italy are closer to.

Weak institutions further add to Greece’s problems. Indeed, the Greek state’s lack of efficiency is hard to believe for our lenders and partners.

Now there’s talk about a new election – which is nothing new. Instead of speaking honestly, acknowledging his mistakes and seeking to fulfill his mandate with those who are willing and able, Tsipras is planning a new election. Sure, he’s good at this game but why should the country pay the price? He was the one who led the country to snap polls in January in the first place. He made the same mistake as George Papandreou who kept asking for elections and had the country explode in his hands as soon as he rose to power. Tsipras wants to escape from the dead-end by winning one more electoral round. In the meantime, time keeps going by, the country is not meeting its pledges and is slowly drifting out of the eurozone.

Elections would only make sense if Tsipras wished to claim the role of a Mediterranean Lula da Silva. He would win the election and his mandate would be to carry out the reforms and the program he signed. Our partners would allow him time to do so.
But for the time being he is standing in the middle of a storm trying to weigh his next move.

Europeans shake their heads when it comes to Greece; what is going on in the country is completely foreign to them. If it were up to them, they would get the major parties together and decide what to do. We are doing the exact opposite. No lender or investor will put their faith in Greece if it continues on the disastrous road of political uncertainty and utter confusion.