Greece finally passed its long awaited package of reforms, which follows the usual pattern. The Parliament was all too happy to raise taxes and social security contributions, but pension reform and the sale of NPLs is much less clear.
No, you did not miss my last article; I have not written since January 24, 2016. And no, nothing has happened in Greece since then ... no pension reform, no sales of NPLs, nothing. And, nothing is likely to happen for the foreseeable future.
Let us not use the Constitution and its revision as an alibi for political power to conceal its inability to tackle a political problem on political terms. And it is sad to see constitutional changes being used as a firework.
Each New Year seems to bring about a renewed optimism (unfortunately that optimism has already disappeared on Wall Street). Even I am beginning 2016 with the Greece glass half full. The weather is beautiful.
To understand what is going on in Greece, imagine Bernie Sanders fighting to pass a significant reduction in social security payments in the U.S. in order to continue to prop up a host of insolvent banks.
The numbers and the situation on the field indicate that we are dealing with the biggest demographic change since WWII. The term "migrant" or "refugee" crisis can't explain the complexity of this phenomenon.
Greece is being starved to death by a lack of capital. End the starvation, and the economy will turn around very quickly. In this case, starvation is the NPLs. The non-performing loans are strangling the Greek economy.
Yesterday's elections gave Alexis Tsipras an unexpectedly large lead, confounding both the pollsters and most observers' expectations. This was an election won on feelings, not facts. Sven among SYRIZA's own voters, negative views of its handling of the economy failed to dent its lead.
Deliverance or calamity, recession-oriented or development-oriented, the "best possible agreement," or the "worst of them all," the new agreement between Athens and its creditors still has an uncertain fate and even more uncertain consequences.
The EU must and can settle internal deficits and surpluses, as long as these remain within the euro zone. Therefore, a better integration of economic and fiscal policies and a significant increase in economic transfers within the euro zone are needed.
Germany in 2015 is a nation full of self-righteousness. The Greek crisis has produced in the country an unpleasant strain of chauvinism vis-à-vis other nations, rooted in the belief in our own exemplarity: We work harder. We're more successful. We're more frugal.
Now that a cycle has run its course and it feels like a whole century has passed since the Sunday of the referendum, I dare ask the sacrilegious question: What would have possibly happened had we voted "YES"?