Editorial: The huge bill and Tsipras’ challenge
The Prime Minister may not have elaborated particularly on the effects of the bailout measures that already been taken and are…
The Prime Minister may not have elaborated particularly on the effects of the bailout measures that already been taken and are soon expected, when he was reading out the government policy statements, but the message is more than clear. For the next period – which the Prime Minister determined would last 20 months – the government’s main goal is to stabilize the economy and attempt to return to growth.
Mr. Tsipras may have promised to make every effort to reduce the effects of the measures on society, however the reality as expressed in the budget draft that was also submitted yesterday in Parliament was particularly painful. The additional taxes and cuts for this year alone are estimated to be about 1.5 billion euros, with a further 2.5 billion euros for 2016. This is a particularly huge bill for an economy and society that has been in a crisis for the past 6 years.
Of course it is not yet known if additional measures will be necessary, when the deficit of the pension funds increases by about 934 million euros this year, for a total of 2.123 billion euros, in relation to the budget targets.
The challenge for the government, aside from the ambitious changes in various sections outlined by the Prime Minister, is to implement these measures efficiently, so that we may finally begin to hope that with these additional sacrifices we will see some light at the end of the tunnel.
It is encouraging that in his speech Mr. Tsipras tried to keep the doors of cooperation open with the opposition for a series of issues, such as education, changing the electoral law and the constitutional review. It is a clear indication that our political system may have overcome the divisive conflicts of previous years, which greatly contributed towards extending the crisis and its consequences. It remains to be seen in practice whether these intentions are implemented via specific initiatives, so that the people may hope that these new sacrifices will bear fruit.