troika

The Greece I grew up in was a very different place form the one you see today. I will not bore you with statistics that you can easily see elsewhere, but I can tell you this: It did not feel like Northern Europe. Things were basic, but progressing steadily during the 1980s, and despite the occasional hiccup, people got progressively richer and life was gradually becoming easier.
Compromise is required by both sides. In his comments about 'flooding' Europe, Kammenos made no effort to disguise the fact that this 'policy' was informed by vengeance only, saying "if they strike us, we will strike them." And while some Greeks may feel they have the moral high ground, the EU states must be careful to ensure the same contagion isn't infecting their thinking too.
Demanding of a government that it continue fighting a battle it clearly cannot win bespeaks astounding arrogance; while expecting it continue to struggle while its people suffer inordinate privation and hardship in the process is irresponsible and reckless.
The hope that resonates with the defiance shown by the Greek people has been a long time coming for people suffering the weight of austerity, measured in the lack of fight to what has seemed a juggernaut of despair rolling over the lives of millions without respite. Not anymore.
Who knows what the outcome of this latest cliff-hanging crisis will be? I do not know any more than anyone else. But I do hope that European politicians and financial technocrats come to their senses.
Sixty percent of young people are unemployed and have seen their dreams quashed as wave after wave of painful austerity measures battered Greece. Make no mistake - the country's staggering decline is unparalleled in peacetime.
A seminal moment in Greece's long history had arrived, with hope replacing despair and optimism in place of the oppression that had reduced life for millions to a struggle for survival.
Left-wing Syriza lead by Alexis Tsipras has not wasted time after winning the Greek elections: he formed a coalition with the right-wing anti-bailout Independent Greeks and the new government is now involved in a very high-stakes game of chicken with the Troika (the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF).
The new government is clearly stating its European focus and determination to stay in the union of Europe. The big challenge is how the new government will ensure the continuation of payments by the creditors and at the same time the re-negotiation of the terms without asking for a write-off.
This time round, with elections due on Sunday, the popularity of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, is greater but the market atmosphere is calmer, helped by the ECB's long awaited announcement on Thursday that it would commence a programme of quantitative easing designed to boost demand.