February 5, 2016
As EU has entered in talks with Great Britain towards a more accommodating relationship that would vanquish Brexit prospects, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble keeps insisting that Greece would be in better economic condition if decision on Grexit had been reached in summer.
Obsession of Schäuble to cling in this idea every now and then, but especially during this period, its is not at all accidental. Just before the review process of the Greek program and in the midst of a fierce polemic with respect to Greece’s Schengen expulsion. Regardless of whether someone could agree or disagree with the impact of Grexit, it is important to note that Schäuble’s stance is openly or secretly endorsed by circles in the EU and the US. Behind this stance, it is Schäuble’s intention to play a more energetic role in domestic politics, given Merkel’s negatively affected popularity after the handling of the refugee crisis, but also his effort to bring political instability in Greece.
Political instability could give himself and to lobby groups in Brussels and Berlin the power to influence or even define the investment strategy of corporations and hedge funds interested in downgrading Greece’s assets. This is an ongoing process that is developed in two steps: First, with the continuous depreciation of the Greek government’s proposals and reforms; second, with the pressure exerted to the government to adopt additional austerity measures, thus igniting even deeper turmoil in the society, the domestic market and the economy.
This process adds psychological burdens to the citizens and nourishes doubts on the efficiency of the reform agenda. At the same time, the creditors are aware that this continuous wasting of political capital of SYRIZA cannot be replaced by another opposition party as all of them are completely failed. Therefore, the only way to cause political instability is to feed fear. And Grexit embodies this collective fear.
Similarly goes with leaks or statements on Greece’s uncertain future in Schengen area. Both topics, Schengen expulsion and Grexit, consist a “threat” invested with fear in the minds of the people. Communication consultants know that well and advise key figures of EU establishment to act accordingly in the Greek case, spreading partial and biased information in the media. What they know as well, but hesitate to admit, is that both scenarios can have huge economic and political repercussions in the EU, the member-states separately, the banking system, the global market overall. And this is the reason why Grexit and expulsion from Schengen will keep wandering around Greece’s head, especially since the first review of MoU has not officially started. These two scenarios are delicately switched in the public discourse so that a debate with solid counter-arguments can be avoided.
In such hard times for Greece, opposition parties should embark in a creative dialogue with the government, stop reproducing the same useless rhetoric, and avoid siding with corrupted interest groups. Escaping from the crisis demands proposals. But this is exactly what political opposition seems unwilling to do.
Follow Dimitris Rapidis on twitter: @rapidisDimitris Rapidis