German domestic political developments, with the inability to form a government in Berlin, are cause for heightened political anxiety in Athens, which fears impediments in achieving its long-awaited debt reprofiling and in the process of exiting the bailout memorandum by summer.
Firstly, as long as agreed upon reforms do not go forward, uncertainty over the outcome of the third, ongoing bailout programme evaluation continues.
Secondly, delays in forming the German government stir concerns about how realistic Greek expectations of a discussion of debt relief in January will be.
If debt relief does not appear on the agenda at the start of 2018, there are concerns over how that can impact on and politically undermine the Greek government at home.
Ruling Syriza says that if debt relief is not handled, the fresh fiscal austerity measures agreed to by the government will not be implemented. That was repeated by State Minister Alekos Flambouraris, a top advisor to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, just a few days ago.
There are delays in executing the fiscal programme in a number of areas, reforms are proceeding slowly, wages and pensions will be cut further, the taxpaying capability of citizens is exhausted, and once again time is not on Greece’s side.
The absence of a German interlocutor at the finance ministry in Berlin and in the Eurogroup, means that Greece must ply forward with implementing agreed reforms and cutbacks to the letter, with little hope of changing any of the harsh elements in the agreed adjustment programme.