Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Desperate times, desperate measures

by Yannis Palaiologos

Policy Network

March 18, 2015

Syriza’s internal turmoil is seriously hampering Greece's relationship with Europe. Stoking nationalist, anti-German feeling to shore up party support is making matters worse

Seven weeks in, Greece’s new government is in deep water, and struggling to stay afloat. The negotiations between Athens and its official creditors are trudging forward at a snail’s pace, while debt repayments loom and the Greek banks are living dangerously, on the brink of full-blown liquidity crunch.

Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s young, leftist prime minister has shown a willingness, at least on a rhetorical level, to make the necessary concessions that will allow the current review of Greece’s bailout programme to be successfully concluded and a new programme – or contract, as his people like to call it – to be put in place by the end of June. In effect, he has accepted the bulk of the existing bailout infrastructure. And his finance minister, the mercurial Yanis Varoufakis, has said that the new government agrees with 70 per cent of the commitments made by its predecessors in the context of the bailout(s) – something the main ruling party, Syriza, had neglected to mention before the 25 January elections.


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