Germany’s Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) news agency reports that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was elected in 2015 as a fighter against austerity, leading the eurozone to the verge of collapse, may be the person who will lead his country and the entire monetary union out of the crisis.
DPA presents a list of data to justify its guarded optimism. The economy is growing, and the deficit and unemployment are being reduced. The growth rate in 2018 is projected at 2.5 percent, and unemployment is expected to drop to 20 percent by the end of the year, whereas it was 25 percent two years ago.
Reference is made to the third bailout programme, signed in the summer of 2015, which mandated a long list of spending cuts and reforms, and to Tsipras’ major efforts to rapidly fulfil all commitments to creditors.
Painful reforms ahead
The press agency notes that the last reforms are especially painful. Banks must deal with non-performing loans. The national debt is 180 percent of GDP. Tax hikes, pension cuts, part-time employment, the absence of prospects for many, and migration are all bitter realities.
The report says that between 400,000 and half a million young, educated Greeks abandoned the country in the last four years. Nearly two-thirds of Greek workers do not have full-time jobs. Young people work for less than 400 euros a month, and many of them are near the poverty line and need support from their families.