Everybody speaks about the necessity and the urgency of attracting investments, but everybody also understands that it is not so easy, under the present situation. In normal times, most of the investments, came from the country itself, in the form of many small and medium investments. They came also on public initiative, in the form of big infrastructure works and projects.
Under the present circumstances, the private national investments have came to a standstill and big amounts of capital left the country. The European ressources are limited and they cannot counterbalance either the vacuum of national investments or the flight of the national capital. Public investments, which always were very important in Greece and covered the lack of enough private investments, came nearly to an end, after successive cuts, imposed by the austerity policy.
It has been left as one way the attraction of foreign investments mainly through privatizations of public property and national wealth. In spite of many efforts, the results are poor even in this field. One reason was the political turmoil of the previous period. Another one are the conditions, attached to any investment project, which requires “competitive” salaries and tax regime of the global market. What does this mean in simple terms? Low cost labour and much flexibility in the labour market and the social providence.
This is not only a Greek problem. It is a problem for the whole of Europe, following its opening to all directions and its identification, through its treaties, with globalism and extreme market neoliberal policies.
Uncertainty on debt reduction
A hope for overcoming all those obstacles and moving forward, is the eventual reduction of the enormous debt, either though restructuring or through reprofiling. The German stand is strongly against a reduction of the nominal value of the debt but Germany is ready to discuss other ways for reducing the debt (extending the period of repayment and the grace period, lowering more the cost of the debt).
In November 2012, the European Summit Meeting gave a vague promise to the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to proceed to some kind of reduction of the debt, if the Greek government managed, in the meantime, to achieve a surplus in the balance of payments. The government of Antonis Samaras achieved actually a surplus but the Eurogroup was not in haste to discuss the problem of the debt since the political situation was on the verge of change.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government,following the retreat from their previous position, they put much hope to the reduction of the debt , as a way to ameliorate the perspectives of the economy and their own political image to the public. They got also new promises on this from the Eurogroup and the European Summit Meeting. Prime Minister Tsipras puts this problem on high on its agenda and does not hesitate to continue its public campaign on the debt, as it has done during his recent visit to the United States.
Chancellor Merkel and the Finance Minister Shoëble are not very happy on this campaign and what they see as a “complicity” between the American leadership and Greece in putting pressure on Germany on the problem of the Greek debt.
Greece voted in despair the SYRIZA party and Alexis Tsipras during the last elections, in spite of an enormous abstention of 45% , believing that he was blackmailed to retreat and to accept a new austerity memorandum. The people keeps the hope that the Prime Minister will manage to do something with the foreign debt and to open a way for development to the country. This discussion on the debt is expected to begin in October or November the latest. If nothing important comes out from this discussion, the perspectives of the country will be without hope and the political instability will return with much deception, disappointment and wrath.
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