Dimitris Rapidis

It is barely two months since the coalition government was formed in Greece and its future is at stake. It is without doubt that the critical problem that the government is faced with is not linked with the diverging ideologies of the three parties forming it, but with the inadequate character of its government vis-à-vis the austerity measures that can no longer be implemented in practice.

New Democracy -the leading party of the coalition- along with the Panhellenic Socialist Movement and the Democratic Left while seeming to get along with each other, they do completely avoid what they were declaring during the pre-electoral period. All three were for the re-negotiation of the bailout plan as austerity measures could no longer find ground of social support. Nonetheless, they escaped their binding statements and aside dropping out the issue of re-negotiation, as troika was not even slightly willing to discuss it, they managed to insert new wage and pension cuts. In other words, while pretending to be re-elected in order to comfort social grievances, they look like being the first to re-ignite them directly.

It goes without saying that the Greek electorate is completely puzzled and confused with what is really going on. The two previous governments, the one elected with the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) ruling from 2009 until 2011, and the second one not being elected with Loucas Papademos ahead could no more find any kind of support, both inside and outside the Parliament, so the only solution was to go to the ballot box. In two rounds, in May and June, the results were astonishing as they were illustrating the deep chasm of the Greek society under the proclaimed dilemma “Staying or leaving eurozone” -a dilemma that was finally proved to be literally rhetoric as no one could shape the post-euro era in Greece. Both the coalition government and the front opposition.

In this respect, and regardless of who is governing the country, Greece is no more faced with a dilemma, but with a new big question: Is the exit of Greece already prepared, and if yes, why and when people will get to know it? Here there are few explanations need to be mentioned to get the entire image.

First, it is rumoured that Greece is forced to exit eurozone and both Brussels and Athens are getting secretly prepared for that. According to this scenario Greece will return to drachma and transactions and payments will get automatically shifted to the old currency. Yet there is no information on whether Greece will declare bankruptcy or just get rid of euro. Even if this scenario is streaming the media and the society, still with no official claim, it does not seem that plausible as the coalition government is moving to the different direction trying to keep Greece inside the euro with additional austerity measures. If Greece was to leave euro, why all three parties are increasing people’s harship instead of pressing for more lenient negotiational terms with troika?

Second, there are also rumours dealing with the stance of Chancellor Merkel in the days to come regarding the affrontation of the Greek case. It is said that she will be less strict both to the implementation of the austerity program in Greece and the liquidity of the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM) as an additional source of soaring Greek economy – a case still pending for approval from the German Constitutional Court. In this respect, I am really wondering if the real problem of Greece is the lack of liquidity or the the survive of the Greek people. And even if both are said to be supposedly interconnected, there is a need for a 360-shift of the prism both the European Union and the Greek leadership is dealing with debt crisis. The real problem that has to be mentioned is the fact that whatever the amount of debt is, there is no solution and no way of decreasing it if the people who could otherwise pay can no longer pay their daily, vital expenses. Therefore, even if we used to say that Greece was solely responsible for its debt crisis, now there is also and equally the European Union responsible for the stagnation of the Greek debt crisis as the bailout plans and the measures agreed lead to nowhere than social chaos and a potential nation-wide unrest and hostilities.

Third, it is time to discuss in Greece how its people and its economy can get rid of the crisis and start producing growth in the context of the dependent variable of euro. In other words, the discussion should be focused on how to produce and bring investments in the country and not whether or not Greece will leave the eurozone. Greece may leave or may stay in eurozone and this has nothing to do with unleashing forces of growth. Even if for Greece being outside the eurozone there is the optional tool of monetary policy and the issuance of money, this cannot guarantee growth or better standards of leaving. Thus, to my point of view, the question is not whether Greece will stay in eurozone, but what the political leadership and the entrepreneurial world can do to retrack economy and bring new jobs.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Dimis. You have actually inferred (stated?) that if Greece left the €uro it might be worse off! (or did you?)

    My friends in the EU are saying that the time now is to invest in Greece as everything available from the service industries such as Electrical Energy to Waste and Airports etc through to some very interesting programmes to connect Egypt’s gas supplies to Europe are around and worth investing in. We know for example that “Invest in Greece” is still around and it continues to foray good ideas. My same colleagues attempted to make a connection to the morass of waste managemeent in Greece four years ago and came against the sitting tenents. They would like to have a go again.

    It is a pity that the financial scsre-mongers are still at it trying to destroy people’s lives for their own benefits. Too much of the despair in the World Economy was made up by these Croolks whether they were in the UK or USA.

    With regards to the future of the Greek Government: well surely there are some hard hitters there? What about Dr Dora Bakoyannis? She has the credentials and the International Esteem to carry through the image of Greece is here to do business again. And her credentials World Mayor for Athens and German language as well as an Engineer will match Dr Abgelica Merkel. I like Dora and Angelica and they would work together.

    Let’s get back to real business again. Greece has so much to offer.

    1. Hello Karel and thank you for your comment.

      I did mention that the real problem is not whether or not Greece will stay in eurozone, but how to incite and accelerate growth through investments and job creation. In this respect, the government is still pacing in declarations rather than action.
      As far as I know, “Invest in Greece” is a well-founded orgazisation that does work, but Greece needs more groups and trusts like this one to boost investments. There are many investors interested in Greece and government’s stalled policies do not assist them to move on.
      Regarding Dora Bakoyannis, she is a well-known international figure that has been in government positions many times and she has proved her credentials. But Greece needs fresh ideas coming from young people that are actually deprived from politics. This was my central argument along with the one emphasizing on Greek growth regardless of being outside or inside eurozone.

      1. Dear George,

        Thank you for your comment.

        I do agree with your argument dealing with the importance of national governments to spend and invest on athletics and this is a fact. European governments, and especially those stemming from the “big ones” like Spain, Italy, and France do not seem to care a lot about boosting sports lately. And this is also a fact.

        My intention was more to emphasize on the potential of the EU as a federal state, even in the field of sports, and less to unfold possible deficiencies of the current situation. I firmly believe that the major problem in the EU is the mere perception of who we are and where we are heading rather than what we actually do.

        All things considered, I firmly believe that the EU has ended up in this condition not merely because of the different beliefs, culture and language of its people, but due to the fact that it does not endorse the voice of its people. The EU was established so as to stem from its citizens and it has to get back on this.
        Regard

  2. Dimitris,

    Many thanks for your reply.

    I quote you:
    All things considered, I firmly believe that the EU has ended up in this condition not merely because of the different beliefs, culture and language of its people, but due to the fact that it does not endorse the voice of its people. The EU was established so as to stem from its citizens and it has to get back on this.
    unquote

    I doubt if there would be many who would disagree with your very laudable statement. What a shame half a century later we are in this situation. It is almost worth saying lets break it all up and start again. We now know enough to avoid so many mistakes. Alas Alas!

    Best Regards
    George Mc

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