The next days and weeks will be decisive for the course of the country over the coming years.
One the one hand there is the end of the third bailout memorandum and the decision on the supervisory scheme for the day after, and on the other the prospective settlement of the FYROM naming issue. These developments create a framework of both opportunities and dangers.
As for the FYROM issue, the content of the agreement that the government will present will largely judge the degree of its acceptance by society, which is already charged by national concerns and by the government’s divisive tactics. It will also be a challenge for the future of the current government, as Mr. Tsipras’ junior coalition partner is accustomed to futile and dangerous super-nationalist salvos.
On the other major front, there is the vote on the omnibus bill with all the fiscal measures needed to complete the bailout evaluation, and measures that will offer guarantees to our creditors after the bailout exit.
The government will be sorely tested. The fiscal measures that are coming are heavy, especially for pensioners, while tax breaks and other compensatory measures will be smaller, and will depend on whether fiscal targets are met.
Despite the political and social cost, the country has an opportunity to look to the future with better terms, especially if the bailout exit is accompanied by an effective debt relief arrangement. Obviously, commitments and supervision will continue, but there will be an opportunity to leave behind the chokehold of daily supervision.
This will require that the political system rise to the occasion, and not resort to the opportunistic practices of the past.
The forthcoming electoral period leaves little room for optimism. The great danger is that the polarising and divisive climate, combined with fragile international balances, can undermine the course of the economy and lead to perpetual stagnation.
After 10 years of crisis, it would be criminal if the government and the political system cannot exploit the opportunity that is opening.
The great sacrifices of Greek citizens do not permit this, and future generations that saw their dreams destroyed will not forgive it.
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