Δευτέρα, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Greece needs stability, hope and reform. It is unlikely to get them any time soon.


Mr Tsipras won a very comfortable victory in yesterday’s general elections, despite polls consistently showing a neck-and-neck contest with the centre-right New Democracy. His victory offers hope to a desperate country that has been deeply mired in a devastating crisis for the last six years. Whether, he delivers on his promise, however, is doubtful.



Following on the third bailout agreement Mr Tsipras signed with Greece’s creditors last August, he will be called to implement harsh austerity measures and structural reforms which, by his own admission, does not believe in.

In his valedictory speech, on the election night, the new Prime Minster still talked about his familiar theme - “resistance” to neoliberal creditors - and promised to “continue the struggle for another four years”. His narrative remains divided, hindering Greece’s credibility to implement the third bailout agreement: he has claimed that he will honor the agreement while resisting it, or more precisely, implementing also a “parallel” one to run counter to it!

Moreover, he has chosen to form a government with a nationalist-cum-populist right-wing party (the Independent Greeks), which will further obstruct the much needed reforms Greece needs. The new government, deeply divided between what it agreed with creditors and what it promised the people, will find it difficult to govern with a 5-seats majority only. As in the past, populist MPs will start making noises the government will be unable to ignore for long. And if the past seven months are anything to judge by, people of limited competence and administrative experience to take tough decisions, are likely to be appointed as ministers. A mediocre government is the most likely outcome.

Greece needs stability, hope and reform. The new government will find it difficult to deliver on all three.

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