Monday, March 30, 2015

The great responsibility of Mr Tsipras

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The common belief is that things are not working out in the best way for Greece. It has been two months since the election and everything is uncertain and up in the air. 

The negotiations are never-ending, without any results, the state funds are empty, the people are insecure, the economy is ready to re-enter a recession and the government is constantly balancing between an “honest compromise” and a “rupture”.

The Prime Minister gave it all in the so-called political negotiations, without adequately estimating the technical and financial aspect, nor, of course, the threat of liquidity suffocation.

At the eleventh-hour he called a meeting with European leaders in Brussels and then travelled to Berlin in order to get the negotiations in order.

This new effort of his however is being undermined by this exact lack of preparation on a technical and financial level.

Without adequate technical preparation this new negotiation effort is at risk of failing.

Though this negotiation the Minister of Finances aspires to complete the review of the current program, which in turn will release funding resources, but he never gave the so-called technical teams a chance.

The likeliest scenario is that he will face up against the serious doubts cast by the very same technical groups that mediate and prepare the Euro Working Group and Euro group sessions.

Perhaps the latest references of Greek officials for a clash and rupture were prompted by the early estimations of European experts on the reform list being inadequate.

In any case, the government continues to walk on a tightrope. With empty state coffers empty, a difficult negotiation, everyone agitated by the threats and the people concerned about the near future, nothing guarantees stability, progress and growth.

On the contrary, we have a revival of the worst case scenarios. Without an agreement the State will run out of money, possibly before Easter. And when it runs out, we will either not pay the creditors – as the government threatens to do – or the civil servants and pensioners will get less.

If the creditors are not paid we will have a credit event, which in turn will affect the country's position in the world and if the State suspends payments domestically then nothing guarantees a safe future.

Both solutions are problematic and undesirable.

The “honest compromise” which the Prime Minister proposed himself is obviously the best.

He should therefore serve it without hesitation or reservations. He must also assume whatever the cost will be, because he is simple not allowed to sail Greece into the rocks. And that is the great responsibility of Mr Tsipras.

Antonis Karakousis

Originally published in the Sunday print edition

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