Yiannis Mouzakis via Macropolis | Greece’s economic collapse in 2010-2013 has become legendary. The country had already been hit hard by the global financial crisis in 2009, when it posted a sharp GDP drop of -4.3 percent. This set the stage for what would become the deepest economic contraction of a developed country in history. But would the implementation of structural reforms have helped alleviate this situation?
MADRID | June 1, 2015 | By JP Marín Arrese | When Tsipras took over matters from Varoufakis a couple of weeks ago, observers were mildly optimistic about the prospect of Greece reaching a fair deal with its creditors. But yesterday’s remarks by the Hellenic PM on the ‘absurd’ demands filed by his counterparts has dealt a heavy blow to such hopes. The chances of broking an agreement are far away and there are increasing doubts over the ability to reach an understanding before it is too late.
ATHENS | May 23, 2015 | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolis | A number of eyebrows were raised last week when an opinion poll suggested that former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who oversaw Greece’s fiscal derailment between 2004 and 2009, is the most popular candidate to take over from Antonis Samaras as New Democracy leader.
ATHENS | May 11, 2015 | By Manos Giakoumis via MacroPolis | Recent Greek budget data showed the huge revenue gap of 968 million euros recorded in January narrowed to 389 million by the end of the first quarter (Q1) of 2015. At the same time, primary expenditure, which was just 53 million better than target in January, displayed a strong outperformance of 1.18 billion by the end of March.
ATHENS | April 8, 2015 | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolis | Since it was first recorded in 1944 by American public administrator David Lilienthal, the following anecdote has been told many times and in many ways: A traveller asks a local man for directions and, after much thought, the latter turns to the visitor and says: “My friend, I tell you; if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here.” As Greece and the eurozone remain some distance apart on how to conclude their bailout negotiations, it seems a good time to return to this tale.
April 8, 2015 | By Yannis Mouzakis via MacroPolis | Just as the five-year anniversary of Greece’s first EU/IMF programme approaches – and despite marked procrastination in a number of other fronts – Greece’s coalition set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the country’s bankruptcy and the signing of its two memorandums with the troika.
ATHENS | March 3, 2015 | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolis | There was a defining moment in the recent election campaign. It wasn’t New Democracy’s decision to go full negative by running a campaign ad that suggested Armageddon was around the corner. Nor was it To Potami’s claim that it would unveil its plan for reaching an agreement with Greece’s lenders after the elections. Instead, it came on a mild Thursday night in Omonia Square.
ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolis | 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.
ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis | Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has a habit of defending his government by saying that his aim is to make Greece “a normal European country.” Whatever he may mean by this and however genuine he may be in wanting Greece to recover from its long crisis, this is an infuriatingly patronising comment. Intentionally or not, it aligns Greece’s prime minister with all the cranks in Europe and Greece’s misinformed critics beyond who view the country as some kind of basket case.