In setting out his government’s first pieces of legislation on Friday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to dispel doubts about whether the government would bring the four-month extension of its loan agreement to Parliament for approval.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras outlined on Friday night the content of the first four draft laws that his government plans to bring to Parliament next week as it begins the marathon effort to execute the reforms it has pledged both to lenders and Greek voters.
Before the Greek government can reach the point of discussing any new arrangement with its lenders to take it before June, it has to overcome its pressing funding needs, with March probably being the biggest hump it has to get over during the next four months.
Two of the four bills that the government plans to table in Parliament this week relate to the settlement of unpaid tax and social security contributions as well as the protection of primary residencies.
Xenophobia and violence against migrants reached worrying levels last year in Greece, which among other issues continues to segregate Roma children in some schools, a new report from Europe’s anti-discrimination watchdog has found.
The failure to deal with police violence against journalists during protests is mainly to blame for Greece being ranked second lowest in the European Union for media freedom, the authors of the 2015 World Press Freedom Index have said.
Greece’s mental health and integration systems have been ranked among the worst in 30 European countries due to structural problems before the crisis and a drop in direct funding of 64 percent under austerity, a report published last month has found.
The tremors in Greece after SYRIZA’s electoral victory were also felt in Spain –and quite intensely. Having attempted to disassociate Athens’ fate from Madrid’s, Spanish officials have found themselves somewhat linked again: in the outbreak of eurozone debt crisis it was the need for reforms and a rescue; today, it is politics.
Is Friday’s agreement at the Eurogroup a good deal for Greece? In some respects it is but in more respects it is not. Above all, the four-month agreement leaves Greece walking an economic and political tightrope over the next four months without knowing what lies at the end of it.
There are certain truths about the Greek crisis. The main one is that Greece got itself into an utter mess by 2009. This came about as a result of two serious errors. Firstly, at a political and societal level there was an underestimation of the economic rigours of sharing a hard currency with more competitive and open economies, such as Germany and the Netherlands.