…Frozen smiles

And while for the first time on a technical level the government concludes the review on time and the Prime Minister’s office is optimistically looking forward to August 2018, bringing an end to the 3rd MoU, reality comes knocking proving that things are not looking too bright…

The prerequisites are far too many, ideologically onerous for the government and highly unpopular with the exhausted Greek society. Even before getting started, right after the first smiles for the conclusion of the third review, the Minister of Labour, hurrying to implement one of the dozens of prerequisites, submitted, and withdrew almost immediately,an amendment, which stipulated that in order to launch a strike, an agreement of 50 + 1% of employees is required. Basically, as workers’ representatives observe, this memorandum prerequisite effectively led to the abolition of the right to strike.

Another big policy “thorn” that seems to wipe out the smiles in the government camp concerns the PPC (DEH), the country’s largest enterprise, as by law the government will be forced to give up 50% of its assets and the company will be forced to sell to its competitors power below cost. Additionally, very competitive lignite and fossil fuel units will have to be sold, as well as – possibly – a number of hydro-electric and gas operated power plants. In 2014, when SYRIZA was the main opposition party, it was very much against any plans that led to the sale of the so-called “small size PPC” (which comprised of 30% of the company)…

The biggest thorn, though, are auctions, despite government claims that the first residence is protected up to 300.000 euros. Auctions have already began across the country with the slogan “no homes in the hands of bankers” still fresh in the mind of the citizens…

Another blow for the government came from European Commissioner Mr. Declan Costello, who, during his speech from Greek-American Chamber of Commercein Athens, claimed that out of the 110 prerequisites only a third has been completed. This essentially means that the government is on a very tight schedule so as to conclude all pending issues by 22 January.

As for the main opposition party, while it has to deal with major issues, such as auctions and the sale of the PPC, it is currently dealing with nepotism and… whether a relative of the New Democracy president can become a member in the next Government, if and when ND is called upon to form a government.

On 16-17 December the Conference on Principles and Values of New Democracy will take place, with Kyriakos Mitsotakis making a strong appearance at the helm of the country. Nevertheless, thousands of citizens will either hear him out or will watch him with the dividend already in their bank accounts…

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