It’s been more than a year since Greece signed the notorious EU-IMF €110 bln aid package in an attempt to deter the country’s economic default. Today, Greece faces even greater challenges, domestic and external. This week’s cabinet reshuffling aimed at unifying the ruling party to make it able to pass new highly anti-populist austerity measures, necessary for disciplining its ‘home economics’. Reshuffling is obviously not the solution to the problem. It’s just a tactic to shift public aggravation towards new political faces, earn some time, and maximise the likelihood of staying in power.
This time last year, I was one of those people who believed that in a year’s time, things would be on a positive course. I was deeply mistaken. I even read recently from a highly-respected source that CIA fears a potential coup d’etat in Greece. I am sure some people in Greece wouldn’t mind such a twist of events. Greek politics are the source and the outcome of Greece’s today’s ‘tabescence’. The idea of a universal government with an independent Prime Minister seemed like a good idea. However, egos, individualism, thirst for power and lack of vision prevailed once more.
I find it hard not to comment on the talks being made about offering a new ‘rescue’ package estimated around €120 bln. A package I am highly confident was already in the minds of the people who offered the first one. Now, if you add this to the €110 bln you get a total of Greece’s GDP. In other words, the country is if not for sale, then definitely for a long rent. The idea of that is simply sad.
The truth to the matter is that no reshuffling, no new government, no massive protests can change the faith of the Greek economy. Mr. Sarkozy and Chancellor A. Merkel are those two that will decide Greece’s future. All that Greece and its people can do is live with the idea that this country is and will be for the next five to ten years under strict financial occupation. In the meantime, deregulating the energy industry, opening up the closed professions, investing in tourism and services and reforming education are all of paramount importance for its economy to become attractive to investors and eventually bounce back. The resources are there, the determination is yet to be seen.