Thursday's bond issue – Greece's first in four years and three days – looks certain to strengthen the government's argument that it has followed the correct strategy vis a vis the country's international lenders and in terms of economic policy, leaving SYRIZA searching for a counter punch.
Since June 2013, when it quit the coalition government, there has been regular speculation about the possibility of Democratic Left (DIMAR) returning to the administration. This option has been pushed firmly off the table, at least for now.
The government, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras personally, were dealt a severe blow on Wednesday when cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos was forced to resign after a video of him discussing details of the judicial probe into Golden Dawn with the Neo-Nazi party's spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris was posted on the Internet.
The decline in Turnover Index in Industry slowed further in February to a marginal 0.1 percent from 4.3 percent in January and a double-digit drop in the preceding three months, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
A recent OECD study examining the aftermath of the crisis has highlighted the social difficulties that have been created but also points the inequalities that were created by a poor welfare system before the country’s economic problems began.
The European Commission’s Task Force for Greece (TFGR) published last week its sixth quarterly activity report, examining what progress has been made in a number of areas where Athens has been receiving technical support to improve public services and administration.
Healthcare has become one of the key issues in the Greek crisis: Not only is it a source of political friction but it also provides one of the clearest indications of the impact spending cuts have had.
Now that the euphoria is beginning to die down let’s take a second, more sober look at what Greece achieved last week when the investment community hailed the country’s return to the markets. Politicians from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government were quick to join the chorus of cheerleaders, with impressive support from members of the media and market analysts.
In June 2012, SYRIZA came within 171,000 votes of winning Greece’s national elections as part of an improbable but meteoric rise from raggle-taggle band of dreamy leftists to Europe’s premier anti-austerity crusaders. At the time it seemed that, even in electoral defeat, SYRIZA and its young leader Alexis Tsipras were laying a cornerstone for something much bigger. But events since then, especially over the last couple of weeks, suggest that we may have already seen SYRIZA’s finest moment.
Politics today is the art of shaping a narrative, with the overriding preference being for one that is in harmony with markets and investors. This narrative is currently being formulated in real time in Greece. It is centred on the much anticipated return of the Greek sovereign to international bond markets.