After eight years in the dark tunnel of the economic crisis, Greeks await some light, some hope of a way out and of recovery.
Citizens faced all types of trials all these years. They lost jobs, income, powers and capabilities. At first they were startled and shaken, and thereafter they reacted.
Most patiently withstood the consequences.
In the second phase, they duly evaluated the new conditions, limited their expenditures, subdued desires, sought alternative sources of income. Some changed profession, and some unfortunately were forced to emigrate.
Certainly, some people did not manage, especially those who experienced absolute poverty and marginalisation. They had to depend on the kindness of others to survive.
Over time, Greek society appears to have adjusted to the new situation. It accepted the wear and tear and the lowered expectations. It turned inwards, seeking solutions at the individual and family level, as it had little to expect from the state and politics.
Yet, accepting the economic conditions shaped by the crisis does not mean reconciliation with fate.
The memory of better days does not allow compromise with the decline and fall. The Greek people now have demands. Their endurance was saved and their patience was exhausted. After all they have lived through, citizens demand results, and practical confirmation that the tribulations are ending.
From now on, neither laxity nor backpedaling is justified.
The government is obliged to move swiftly, to transcend reservations and fixations, and to create opportunities and the private investments that the new economic conditions permit.
Greeks cannot imagine that after so many sacrifices the country can recede into a new crisis.
Alternate Finance Minister Yorgos Houliarakis’ warning about discipline and limiting expenditures is particularly important.
There is a danger of a new fiscal derailment, and it may coincide with the election period. Our country has bitter experienced from such retreats.
It would be a national crime to return to a cycle of waste and fiscal profligacy, especially if it is done to come to power.
The government and the prime minister will bear a heavy weight if the country becomes derailed fiscally and if the cycle of growth that the sacrifices of the Greek people brought goes top waste.