The current fiscal crisis in Greece seems to be repeating in a series of events. Instead of presenting a viable plan to even temporarily satisfy foreign creditors, the government of Greece has been dancing on the issue of fundamentally reforming the country’s budget and addressing a long term solution in tackling the debt crisis.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should be credited for recognizing the fiscal realities of Greece and focusing on, first, preventing a Greek default, and second, securing a long term plan with his European partners on addressing this fiscal crisis.

By no means had the Prime Minister given into the demands of the creditors easily. His initial hardline approach, which some might see as admirable, allowed the people of Greece to voice their dissatisfaction with the rest of Europe. Despite the heroic attempts to demand concessions from the European creditors, Germany and others simply did not blink, and Greece was positioned worse at the negotiating table.

After several anxious weeks of a political standoff, Greece and the European partners are back at the negotiating table. Domestically, the Greek government is facing significant political pressure against the austerity measures demanded by the European finance ministers. The bailout measurement is largely opposed by the anti-austerity wing of the Syriza (The Prime Minister’s own party) members, and the bailout vote will not only test the political opposition to the Prime Minister’s austerity budget but also the stability of the Greek political climate. (Reuters 8/13/2015)

Even if the Greek government is able to pass the austerity measure, the European creditors are skeptical on the political continuity of the Greek government. If there is a rapid shift in the political makeup in the Greek government, then the confidence of the Greek government’s ability to carry out the austerity measures is in doubt.

Frankly, the austerity measures will theoretically hurt the Greek economy. However, there has been little domestic political accountability on the Greek fiscal situation. Furthermore, without a fundamental change in the Greece’s finances, the current fiscal debt crisis, even if Europe and other creditors decide to categorically forgive them, will come back again. No matter how the current situation develops, once Greece reach a hypothetical situation of resolving this issue, the constituents ought to scrutinize their government’s finances more carefully during the elections.


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