Even as the government is peddling the bailout “clean exit” scenario, there is increasing information pouring in and statements by EU officials that the preparations are exceptionally problematic, and that there are still many dangers for a vulnerable country like Greece.
This will start clearing up a bit in the next few days with the troika of creditors being in Athens, yet many still say it is very difficult to complete a technical agreement by the next Eurogroup, as the initial timetable provided.
There are pending issues on very important preconditions for completing the evaluation. That creates a shadow of doubt about the governmental majority’s will to implement them in time, as it has been paralysed by the fear of political cost.
The much-touted Greek growth plan has been guarded as if it were the biggest secret, as it appears to consist of platitudinous notes about reforms that cannot persuade the European creditors.
Unfortunately, the country’s biggest problem continues to be the huge lack of trust in the capability and will of the government, and of the political leadership more broadly, to heed their commitments – the measures that have been passed into law and the reforms that must continue.
The verbosity and double-talk of government officials regarding the existing law that will bring pension cuts is characteristic. The prevalent response, in an effort to limit the political cost, is: ‘Yes, but we shall see.’
As former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis said characteristically in his Op-Ed yesterday in To Vima on Sunday, the next day will not begin because some people proclaim with pomp and ceremony the end of memorandums and make triumphant speeches about the freedom that we regained.
Without continuity and a sense of responsibility, without being honest with citizens, and without realistic targets, it is very easy for us to miss the boat again.
Unfortunately, we see for the umpteenth time that we are rushing anxiously to catch up with events, to meet pending requirements, and to perhaps honour the suffocating timetable imposed by the agreement with creditors.
A government that operates only with external coercion and the crushing pressure of creditors cannot lead the country to a better tomorrow. That is all the more true when the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and no one knows what the PM and his associates are aiming for.