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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A new government. Heureka!

I have written several critical comments on Mr. Samaras and the question is valid why one had to expose the country to so much political stress in the last 6 months (on top of the economic stress) when one could have had the same result 6 months ago (or even 12 months ago) just for the asking.

However!

A new start is a new start. All old debts and friendships should be cancelled. The new team should be given the benefit of doubt. And --- they will need all of it!

What would I expect from the new government? First of all, they should communicate more what they are doing for the good of the country! For over 2 years now, we have heard more than we ever wanted to hear about things like memoranda; percentages of this, that and the other; measures for this, that and the other; etc.

Has anyone heard of the vision for the better Greece which allegedly everyone is working for day-and-night? Has anyone heard a speech which said "this is where we were; this is where we are now; and this is where we plan to go"? Can the normal Greek citizen have any idea that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and what progress is being made getting there? I doubt it very much!

When corporations get into financial trouble, it is customary that communication between managements and employees intensifies. Everyone knows that employees must be given some clear ideas as to where the journey will take them so that they don't jump ship and work for competitors. Citizens cannot jump ship and work for competitors (unless they decide to emigrate) but they have the same right to be informed nevertheless! In the longer run, one cannot expect people to make sacrifices if they have no idea at all what they are making them for.

So, and without suggesting that Greece should expand the public sector, perhaps a new communication/marketing department should be established in one of the ministries with the mission of keeping people informed how their sacrifices make sense and why there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and possibly even when).

Suppose the half-time score is 0:1 when Greece plays Germany on Friday, and the Greek players are already quite exhausted at half-time. They know, however, that they need to run like hell if they still want to advance. They are close to break-down when they score the 1:1 but that gives them renewed energy to keep running because they know that they only need one more goal. And before they all collapse, they score the 2:1. That's when they know that it was all worth the trouble!

PS: good luck on Friday! (coming from an Austrian...)

4 comments:

  1. " First of all, they should communicate more what they are doing for the good of the country! "

    I agree, the Papandreou goverment made a terrible job in communication level. It was trully pittiful. Think that his father in the late 80s, when he saw that he had destroyed the economy, had the common sense, to make a TV commercial, a quite funny and successful one, to motivate Greeks to buy greek products. His son, apparently never thought of that.


    "Has anyone heard a speech which said "this is where we were; this is where we are now; and this is where we plan to go"?"

    Yes, in 2009, Mr. Papandreou was saying that in 2012 the country would return to the markets (as per troika plan). In 2010, minister of economics was saying to the people "we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel". In 2011 Mr. Venizelos, after the PSI said "now we have finally put a bottom to the barel". In 2012 nobody believes anymore what the politicians say...


    "Can the normal Greek citizen have any idea that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and what progress is being made getting there? I doubt it very much!"

    When Mr. Venizelos returns triumphant after the PSI charade and the new greek bonds are traded as junk in the secondary market and everyone says talks about Grexit, if you were a greek citizen, would you see a light?

    "When corporations get into financial trouble, it is customary that communication between managements and employees intensifies."

    The problem is, that when a corporation comes to the situation that Greece was in 2009, then declares bankruptcy and puts itself under the relevant law to protect itself from the lenders. It doesn't take new loans that lead nowhere...

    In football, at half time, players have 15 minutes to rest and drink to refresh themselves. In the greek situation, they have no rest, only more running around. And as a greek proverb says "A bear that doesn't eat, can't dance".

    This goverment needs nothing less of a miracle. SYRIZA already warned that will do harsh opposition and Tsipras said that he is "a PM on the waiting". Wait until the memorandum bites again and we will see how long the goverment can last...

    The positive side of a Grexit, is that, there is actually hope. People know that this is it, the bottom and that now it can only go better. In a recent poll, the majority of the Greeks said "yes to euro", but also "not at any cost".

    Today also, Silvio Berlusconi said that Italy exiting the euro isn't a blasphemy and it's time for Italy to use her weight to force Germany on another course, since the austerity is poisoning the economy. This position is becoming very popular. And the Italians haven't tasted not even a fraction of the austerity the Greeks have...

    The interesting thing after a Grexit, is a possible trial of George Papandreou. If Tsipras or Independent Greeks or of course Golden Dawn prove strong, it's something i expect. It will be a mini catharsis.

    Bandolero.

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  2. In the new goverment, the peculiar ministers are Mr. Rapanos and Mr. Stournaras. These two will attract easily the flak of Mr. Tsipras, being "ex bankers". But the most interesting and strange is that they are both from the PASOK enviroment. Which is very odd choices on behalf of Samaras. It's as if he is afraid to have his party and himself directly involved with the economy.

    Another explanation is that he chose them because they are the best, but he hasn't showed such thinking to this day and i can't believe that there is no economist around more ND-oriented that he couldn't use.

    We shall see.

    Bandolero.

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    Replies
    1. What? Two ministers chosen on the basis of merits? What is this? The beginning of a revolution perhaps???

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    2. Make that one. Mr. Stournaras between yesterday and today, vanished from the list. Yesterday he was given for sure to take the ministry of development. Instead, today that the official announcement was made, a New Democracy MP will take it.

      It's a disappointment, since Mr. Stournaras is scientific director of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research and basically, forms reports all the time about the ways that Greece could follow to grow,solve economic problems etc.

      Mr. Rapanos was confirmed as finance minister. He is a hybrid between banker and politician, coming from PASOK. He is considered to know well the pubblic sector and has in the past conducted a research on tax evasion and black economy.

      The main positive thing that i can think of this goverment, is that, they know that this is their last chance. PASOK lost 75% of its power in 2 years. New Democracy and Democratic Left, now know that the same fate will come to them if they fail and Mr. Tsipras will win with 50%+. So, i hope that they will prefer to take a temporary political cost, rather than becoming completely destroyed as parties in 1-2 years from now.

      This is also the first time a coalition goverment of 3 parties is formed in Greece. With many political problems.

      - PASOK and New Democracy are considered the responsible for the bankruptcy. Even those who voted them, did so holding their nose. If Mr. Tsipras starts inciting the people to hit the streets and his sympathetic hooded youngsters start burning Athens, i don't know how long the goverment can resist.

      - Democratic Left, is expected to be the most vulnerable to Mr. Tsipras' attacks, as they used to be in the same party and Mr. Tsipras will try to loot it and take all the voters for his party. One of the SYRIZA Chief Economists, Mr. Milios, already attacked Democratic Left verbally on Twitter, saying "shame on them for partecipating in this goverment".

      Anyway, either they will perform a miracle and save Greece, or they will be the goverment that will do the Grexit and hand the country to a triumphant Mr. Tsipras who will rule for at least 8 years in a row afterwards, since nobody will want to vote for PASOK, New Democracy and Democratic Left.

      Bandolero.

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