Greece – What else?

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Publication Date April 2015
ISSN 1865-7451
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The first hundred days in office have become a benchmark for every new government. Early in May, the Tsipras coalition government will reach this date. Given the difficult financial, economic and social situation in Greece, there was no such thing as a closed season for Alexis Tsipras from day one on, and he himself could not have expected one. After all, his new government acceded office with a political agenda demanding nothing less than an end to austerity and the submission to a reform programme seen as unduly imposed on Greece by its creditors, the EU and the IMF.

Nevertheless, it was astonishing to see how quick his government isolated itself in the way the negotiations for receiving better terms on the EU-IMF bailout agreements were conducted. Ultimately, even Obama requested Athens to speed up negotiations and initiate the reforms in tax collection, labour markets or the pension system previous Greece governments had committed themselves to in turn for the 245bn Euro in credits Greece has been receiving since 2010. Even this finger wagging has not clinched a deal and thus makes it highly unlikely that the last loan worth 7.2bn Euros of the second bail-out package will be released anytime soon. Accordingly, speculations are flying high of how Greece will avoid to default when it has to serve its IMF debt in May.

Against this backdrop, we are asking Loukas Tsoukalis, President of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), to share with us his take on the first hundred days of the Tsipras government and what he thinks will follow next.

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