The great financial crisis imposed dramatic changes to the Greek economy and society. It deregulated entire sectors, overthrew businesses and entrepreneurs, changed financial structures, brought chaos to the job market, spread fear and insecurity in the public sector, disorientated the middle class, expanded the poverty line, made the rate of unemployment soar and forced many to emigrate, but at the same time it reorientated the economy, revealed the importance of production and critical nature of exports as well as reinvigorating the concept of creation.
Four years of hard adaptation, endless sacrifices and intense political conflicts were needed to normalize public finances, to rearrange the financial and social dynamics, to create a new, lower financial basis and to form the conditions for a new cycle of economic rebirth.
The people, despite the many reactions, adapted to the new conditions, their consciousness changed, their life became more austere, more conservative and bears virtually no similarity, aside from a few exceptions, to the days of hedonism and excess.
That is how Greece gradually began to recover its credibility, to slowly find its place again in the world, to earn the trust of markets, investors and tourists and to come back from the depth of bankruptcy, while creating the conditions for a dynamic exit from the crisis.
These days nobody believes that Greece will leave the Eurozone and – even better – nobody believes that Greece will go bankrupt, despite the debt still being gargantuan. That is because everyone believes that the solution is within the Eurozone and that our partners are ready to accept a solution that will make Greek debt manageable and sustainable.
Meanwhile, the people and society still feel the weight that the crisis left behind.
Recovery is slow and expectations are low for many and do not seem capable of altering the intentions of the people. They may have adapted, changed their life, but they are still deeply angry about everything that went on during the crisis, a lot of which occurred in absentia.
In other words, the great financial adjustment and restructure will be expressed politically as well. The European elections will seemingly grant the opportunity to assign liability and hold people responsible. The outcome of the elections on the 25th of May will be determined by such attitudes.
Based on all indications, they will form the basis of the fabled upcoming political restructure.
Just like the economy changed, so will politics ultimately and deterministically change.
Procedures, rearrangements, reorganizations, mergers and everything else that a full restructure requires will follow. What happened in the economy, will happen in politics.
Originally published in the Sunday print edition