Thursday, December 15, 2016

Greece: Why the crisis returns – MIRROR ONLINE

Little time? At the end of text there is a summary.

The short-term cancellation of press conferences in Berlin is nothing Unusual. A performance is called off, however, within a few hours and then re-scheduled, so it must be rumblings behind the Scenes is enormous. So it was at a performance of the Greek Minister of Finance, Euklidis Tsakaltoos in the Left-middle Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung on Thursday.

At the end was Tsakalotos even of a temporary emergency landing of the aircraft can not stop them, however, to occur before the German press. Contrary to the original planning, he brought even the Minister of labour, Eftychia Achtzioglou. There is a lot to explain. Because it crashes again huge in the relations between Greece and the Rest of the Eurozone.

reason is a sudden change of policy in Athens: at the end of last week, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had announced that surprising that his government wants to pay around 1.6 million pensioners a Christmas bonus of a total of 617 million Euro, with an average of approximately 380 Euro per Person, on Thursday evening, Parliament approved the measure. In addition, a value-added tax planned will exposed to increase on Greek Islands, as long as they bear the brunt of the refugee crisis.

The tax issue concerned only a few of the Islands, tried to Tsakalotos, now in Berlin, in a statement. And the pension payment you’ve kept “a good idea”. Finally, Greece have generated a higher Surplus than with the donors agreed. Of the should now benefit unique to those who had borne a large part of the reform, the load of the past few years. The budget targets would not be compromised “at all”.

This may be true. But actually, such decisions must be agreed with the donors. Accordingly, miffed in the Federal financial fake. “This is a Change in the basis of business”, – stated in the house of Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU). “Last week, the Euro was no talk group.” The rest of the Euro-Finance Ministers are dissatisfied. Because “some member countries” to see a violation of agreements with Greece, stopped the Euro group has already adopted short-term Debt.

for the past seven years, the ongoing crisis in Greece is threatening a new Showdown – immediately before a Meeting of Tsipras with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Friday.

In a bizarre way happy

in view of these circumstances, the Greek Prime Minister is currently in an almost bizarre way satisfied. During a visit to his offices in Thessaloniki, he announced on Wednesday already the next benefit: with Around 30,000 students in the poorer Parts of the city get in the future, free school meals. Tsipras was in a good mood and entertained the audience with pearls of wisdom such as: “For a man it is easier to change his wife than his football club.”

It seems as if the old Tsipras would be a charismatic Communicator that thrives especially in the battle mode. You’ll ask “anyone for permission to give this money to the most needy”, said he. Everyone has to accept that Greece had “made sacrifices in the name of Europe”.

So self-conscious Tsipras was once – in the spring of 2015. At the time, he triggered his own, a power struggle that almost ended with Greece’s state bankruptcy.

Since then, the Prime was a prisoner of austerity and reform requirements, which had to agree to Greece in the Wake of the third aid programme. However, the role of the loyal Erfüllers from the claims of Creditors tired Tsipras. He was usually Moody, bitter and impatient.

Back in the rebel role, Tsipras seems relieved. From his point of view he can only win. Either the creditor give in to his Wishes and accept a milder austerity. This should help to promote Tsipras’ popularity and chances of re-election increased significantly. And, if the creditors do not join in, could Tsipras seek new elections – even if Tskalatos denied this in Berlin. Instead of as a hesitant Reformer, he would compete as a respectable unsuccessful opponent of the creditors.

The bogeyman in this case would be especially the German Finance Minister. “Either with the company or with Schäuble”, was the headline in the party newspaper of Tsipras’ left coalition Syriza on Thursday. Tsipras was also on a collision course with the International monetary Fund (IMF), which was previously involved in the aid for Greece. His employees, he alleged that indirectly, they are “fools”, “don’t even have your Numbers under control,”

“The IMF has sounds turns out to be kitty”

when Greece was once again against the Rest of the world. In fact, however, the fronts in the debt drama are far more complicated. Because the IMF has long called for, to reduce the Greek debt burden and has even made a condition for participation in another utility program. An attitude that is contrary to the Greek government.

“The IMF demands more austerity from Greece,” to the beginning of the week, the title of a notable Blog entry from IMF Europe chief Poul Thomsen and chief economist Maurice Obstfeld. The authors describe what was in this clarity for a long time only from a Wikileaks-log-known: The monetary Fund that Greece agreed budgetary target is unrealistic. Instead of a primary surplus (i.e. excluding expenditure for debt service) of 3.5 percent, the authors suggest a value of 1.5 percent.

Of this critique is to show Schäuble and his staff, but unimpressed. “Since you get the impression of a Ghost rider that believes itself to him dozens of Ghost rider would be favourable,” says someone who recently debated with senior representatives of the Ministry of Finance on Greece.

but Why did the Greeks fight back against an Institution that calls for you to milder conditions as a Partner in Europe? The answer is to be found towards the end of the article: The IMF authors noted a “reluctance of the member States,” against your proposal. It should stay at previous target, so additional measures are “necessary, but have not been adopted yet,” and “from the outset, enshrined in law” would have to be. With other words: The Greeks would have to cut it further and reform.

This may be like the Athenians Prime just as his Finance Minister: “I am very disappointed with the IMF,” said Tsakalotos in Berlin. The monetary Fund had shown a long time as a “lion” who wanted to ride to Greece better terms and conditions. However, the IMF had “turns out to be more than kitty”: the Real pressure you have not exercised in respect of the Euro group.

in fact, Obstfeld and Thomsen suggest in your contribution to the further reform plans, which could threaten the Greeks if the Euro countries to adhere to the previous savings target: about exceptions in the case of income could disappear expensive. So far, more than half of Greek households were exempt. In addition, the country has still a “very generous pension scheme.” It will be a burden on the budget annually, with almost eleven percent of the economic output, whereas in other Euro countries, around 2.25 percent.

“post-factual politics”

Further painful reforms but wants to enforce Tsipras, under any circumstances. Rather, he counts on a European Partner. This is indicated already: the EU monetary Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a French socialist, criticized the stop the Debt relief and questioned the IMF’s analysis of debt sustainability, as well as the pension and tax system. “In this time of ‘post-factual’ policy, it is more important than ever that certain assertions to remain unchallenged,” wrote Moscovici in the “Financial Times”.

If Tsipras donors, the long-unresolved conflict between the money finally have a decision wanted to, he could have succeeded. But it had to be a new alone? Tsipras is not even like a Ghost driver that controls full throttle back in the crisis?

As expected, sees the Minister of Finance Tsakalotos quite different. Despite the utility not of the impression could arise that his government could not make any own decisions, he said in Berlin. “It would be terrible if the Europeans give this Signal.”

Summary: By non-agreed decisions (Christmas bonus for pensioners, deferment of value added tax increases) has fueled Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras donors, the conflict with Greece’s money. However, the creditors are themselves not in agreement, how strictly the saving rate for the country should be in the future. With its risky going it alone Tsipras could try to force a decision.


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