Editorial: Behind the smiles…
The government officers may be highly optimistic regarding the outcome of the visits of Moscovici and Schulz in Athens, as well…
The government officers may be highly optimistic regarding the outcome of the visits of Moscovici and Schulz in Athens, as well as the support they supposedly expressed for the Greek claims, however reality does not appear to be so rosy. Assistants of Mr. Schulz have dispute the highly optimistic assessment of Mr. Voutsis that the President of European Parliament “recognized that we were correct on everything, that everything we are being asked for is foolish, from the houses that need to be saved [from auctions] to the pension system reform”.
Meanwhile and in spite of the diplomatic approach of Moscovici, it is clear that there are many unresolved issues on the able, with the Commissioner objecting to the intentions of Athens to link the refugee crisis with the measures that need to be taken. The European Commission underlined the importance of strictly implementing the bailout program, adding that the government will have to make some difficult decisions by the end of the year.
It is obvious that behind these diplomatic statements there are significant differences on “hot” issues to bridge the gap between both sides, such as the non-serviceable loans, the pension system reform and the much-debated equivalent alternative measures. There is also very little time until Monday’s Eurogroup, when the payment of the 2-billion-euro tranche will be discussed, to justify the government’s optimism.
The political negotiation, in which the government invested a lot in the past few days, does not seem to really pay off. After the delays in recent months, the Europeans, by and large, essentially insist upon the full implementation of the agreement, in order to be sure that Greece will fulfill its obligations.
The government has a few weeks ahead of it to make the difficult decisions in accordance with the bailout it has signed up to. There is almost no room for maneuvering or seeking out alternative solutions. The ministers ought to set aside the talking and roll up their sleeves, unless we want to be seeking out allies and saviors at the last moment.