Sunday, March 1, 2015

The trust game

by Hugo Dixon


March 1, 2015

The Greek government has an almost impossible task over the next four months: to rebuild trust with its creditors while retaining the trust of the people. But Alexis Tsipras only has himself to blame. The prime minister made irresponsible election promises, from which he now needs to extricate himself.

We have seen the first stage of the “kolotoumba”, the Greek for somersault: last week’s request for an extension of the current programme — committing the new government not to roll back the previous government’s reforms or engage in unilateral measures of its own while a new contract is negotiated.

The kolotoumba will require three more stages. First, the institutions formerly known as the “Troika” will probably extract some more concessions in exchange for preventing Athens from going bust over the next month. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, has dangled the possibility of such an arrangement in an interview with the Financial Times.


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