Developments in Brussels regarding the review of the Greek program, were marked by the words of a senior European Commission executive who said that “the can was kicked forward”. The European markets responded positively, with the booming of the stock exchanges on a European level and the dive of the Greek Bond market. When the dust of the political conflicts and the phantasm “settles down”, we will be able to see the positive – in my opinion – prospects for Greece.
I have to stress that it was the first time that the review process took place. It was also the first time of the disbursement of such a large sum. We also have to mention the start of talks for the debt restructuring process. Such a process takes time, since it is a complicated issue that involves many interested parties. The elections in Germany and France in 2017 only gave the alibi for this three-phase scheme and what matters is that it has been initiated.
A lot has been said about the fiscal “cutter” and the “Super-fund”. The “cutter” was also mentioned in the 2nd memorandum but it was not then promoted by the Greek media, since they were in favor of the government of Antonis Samaras at the time and against Alexis Tsipras’ party. It was there, but it was never implemented, simply because it was not possible. It’s automation also stayed on paper. And it is not expected to be implemented today. The same applies for the super-fund in my opinion. The requirements for its realization are so complex, that in reality just obstruct its operation. It is destined only to work as a “boogeyman”.
I want to hold on to what the “difficult” Mr. Schauble said: That 2018 will see the end of memorandums and in the case of Greece there is no need for additional measures.
However, another problem may occur: The high taxation decided and imposed by the government of Mr. Alexis Tsipras. The incoming funds should balance the recession measures, in order for the Greek economy to gradually achieve growth. It is expected that the disbursement of 5.5 million after the review, will be a step towards the right direction.
In Greece, when we refer to the decisions and measures implemented by previous governments, we almost certainly end up saying, “it was such a shame…!”. What Alternate Finance Minster, Yiorgos Chouliarakis said a few days ago is just shocking! He stated that if the decisions of May 24th had been taken in 2011, Greece would have saved approximately 18 billion euros each year…
*Konstantinos M. Pantzios is a journalist and a political analyst