After sitting for around 12 hours on Thursday, SYRIZA’s central committee granted brief but potentially vital respite to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras by accepting his proposal for an emergency party congress in September rather than the immediate gathering suggested by those opposing the third bailout.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras issued an open challenge to the dissenters within SYRIZA on Thursday when he proposed either an emergency congress in September or a ballot of member this Sunday to assess the party's position on the agreement for a third bailout.
The quartet of officials representing Greece's lenders are due to begin discussing with the government from Wednesday a number of difficult issues that could stand in the way of an agreement on the third bailout being reached on time.
A recent survey published by the Institute of small enterprises of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVE) showed the devastating impact on small companies after the imposition of capital controls.
Almost half of poor households in Greece were unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day and 63 percent of them were in payment arrears with utility bills in 2013, according to data on material deprivation published recently by the country’s statistical authority (ELSTAT).
The percentage of the Greek population at risk of poverty or social exclusion continued to rise in 2013, reaching 36 percent, up from 35.7 percent in 2012, according to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority on Wednesday.
Policies undertaken from a narrow national perspective that encourage systematic fiscal surpluses, coupled with a national consensus on wage suppression between unions and industry facilitated by the state, impact negatively upon domestic spending while increasing national saving.
Now that the rather bizarrely termed “bank holiday” has come to an end in Greece after three weeks - although domestic and external capital controls - continue, it is appropriate to take stock of the situation and inquire where do we go from here.
After his haphazard cross-country drive across Europe over the last six months, Alexis Tsipras has arrived at the crossroads. He has already been forced by European lenders to make a huge compromise; now he has to decide whether he will be just as ruthless with dissenters in his own party.