The Uncertain Greece
By By Ilda Mara
Albanian Daily News
Published June 30, 2015

Greece is facing a triple crisis:  financial, political and national.  After five months of negotiations with the Eurogroup and five years of an austerity regime, the Greek government has once again had to go and ask for more money. It seems that the end of game for Greece in Eurozone is near - this is the common phrase that everybody states on the Greek question!

The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have a common stance towards  Tsipras’ government faced with a major dilemma: whether to assume the political cost of remaining in the Eurozone or to chose a rupture and thus creating circumstances of absolute uncertainty for Greece.

What is certain is that the Eurogroup has a common stance and the differences amongst them that Athens imagines obviously do not exist. For five years in a row, Europe's leaders have insisted Greece cuts deficits in exchange for concessions. Greece's economy has already shrunk 25 percent, and it is having trouble honoring its obligations in part because it has had so much austerity.

“We need a lot more of the real reforms and a lot less of the parametric type,” said the Minister of Finances Yanis Varoufakis. Our government is standing by, with ideas and with the determination to cultivate the two forms of trust necessary to end the Greek drama: Your trust in us and the trust of our people in Europe’s capacity to produce policies that work for, and not against, them.”

The pressure on Athens over the last weeks brought Mr. Tsipras’ government to face with a major dilemma: whether to assume the political cost of remaining in the Eurozone or to choose a rupture and thus creating circumstances of absolute uncertainty for Greece.

“Direct democracy” to overcome the crisis?

Direct democracy holds that citizens should participate directly in making laws and policies, and not do so through their representatives, PM Tsipras is recalling the ancient Greek theories of V century to overcome the political and financial crisis of nowdays.

The Greek Parliament approved the motion for referendum to be held next Sunday, 5th July 2015. Unable to assume the role as Prime Minister of Greece, and to negotiate on behalf of Greek people, Prime Minister Tsipras preferred to call for a referendum, inviting the Greek people are hereby asked to decide whether they accept a draft agreement document submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, at the Eurogroup meeting held on June 25.

 The referendum was supported by SYRIZA the ruling party of Mr. Tsipras and the Independent Greeks and opposed by New Democracy, the River and PASOK. 

A terrible earthquake is shaking the Greek parliament and the PASOK disputed the government initiative for a referendum arguing that it is in conflict with the Greek Constitution, the president of the main opposition party, New Democracy, Antonis Samaras underlined that defending the country's position in the heart of Europe was a “national red line” and claimed that Greece's position in Europe is “in an immediate danger”.

The Greek people in this situations seem to have already answered “No” to Mr. Tsipras  referendum simply with emptying their accounts from the banks.

The arrogance of PM Tsipras on that topic seems to be treated by Greek analysts as a usual phenomenon in Greek politics. For decades the Left in Greece has lived isolated, in the margins of political happenings. It faced the ostentatious contempt of the traditional Right and the political diffidence of the Centrist forces. The alternation between PASOK and New Democracy in power with their sins, in conjunction with the collapse of real socialism, suddenly allowed the Coalition of the Radical left  to emerge ( formed by small parties and political formations former communists and radicals). The Coalition of the Radical left, which started off from the usual percentage of the vote that such political formations attracted, manage to come first!

The 41 years old Prime Minister, Tsipras elected in the Middle of the crisis on January 2015, on a utopia program has to accept, that his mission is impossible and to find a solution within Eurozone or to dismiss from the government and to open the door to technocrats to negotiate and find a way to maintain Greece in Eurozone.

There is still hope for Greece in Eurozone?

“On learning from one’s mistakes,” the former head of IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn drafted a severe proposal to Euro group suggesting that “I believe that we need to think different, we need a change in the logic, we need a radically new direction to reframe the negotiations with Greece. Greece should get no more new financing from the EU or the IMF but it should get a generous maturity extension and significant nominal debt reduction from the official sector (OSI).  Insisting on a frontloaded fiscal adjustment in the current economic environment is both economically and politically irresponsible. Providing more assistance to simply repay existing official creditors is simply inane.”

These are mistakes that Europe has experienced too many times in its history to repeat them, Strauss-Kahn proposes and he insists the Eurogroup should continue structural negotiations and to stop the way that seems to be a deadlock.

A Greek exit from the Euro zone would be fatal for Europe, for the European project, and would divide the European Union in the north and south, a fragmentation that does not fit to the European project.





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