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If I were a Greek ...

25 April 2012 / 22:04:18  GRReporter
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When asked whom he would support if he had the right to vote in the Greek elections Barakat said, "It would be very hard to decide. This is not an easy decision. I would think it over before choosing to which of the existing parties I would give my vote." The businessman believes that no matter who would come to power, urgent reforms should be carried out quickly and responsibly so as to facilitate entrepreneurship in the country. "We cannot talk about economic growth, given that entrepreneurs are facing huge obstacles, problems and bureaucracy." He explained how cumbersome the procedures in the Greek institutions are. The amounts due to social funds, tax administration and chambers of commerce are growing, while the services offered by the institutions are getting worse. "The next government must consider how to pave the way for entrepreneurs, not how to block it," insists the Egyptian businessman.

The journalist: A second round of elections is possible

If neither party wins the majority necessary to form a cabinet and cannot make a cross-party coalition, a second round of elections will possibly take place in Greece. This is the opinion of ITAR-TASS correspondent Yury Malinov, who has been monitoring the situation in Greece for years and who is aware of the peculiarities of local politics. "Everything depends on Brussels reaction to such scenarios. There is no signal yet that if Greece does not form a government in the first round the bailout will be frozen. Maybe we will not get there and maybe Antonis Samaras will win enough votes to make an independent government, but there is no way to know this in advance," said the Russian correspondent.

Yury Malinov is cautious in his expectations, but hopes that if Samaras takes the power with New Democracy, he will fulfil his promises of Zappeio 3. He does not expect major changes in the economic policy because it is bound by the obligations under the bailout agreement. He said he could not identify a party or a leader who will ensure success. According to him, Samaras will most likely win the elections. "I hope I am wrong, but I do not think anyone could seriously deviate from the framework of the Memorandum at this stage."

Whatever the election outcome, Malinov believes that Greece will not leave the euro area. "Neither Greece nor Europe will benefit from this. The stakes are too high. If they were to allow the country to leave the euro area, they would not have made much effort in the last three years." The journalist noted that haircutting one third of the debt is not in vain and this process is only strengthening the positions of the country within the euro area. Greece is a small country with a huge debt. Once the creditors have agreed to write off around 100 billion euro, then the external forces want it to remain in the euro area. "Currently, almost the entire Greek debt is in the hands of institutional lenders and other European countries. They would not take the risk of allowing Greece to leave the currency union." Malinov is positive. He believes that due to the recovery programme, the country will become more competitive and will slowly begin emerging from the crisis.


Tags: PoliticsElectionsGreeceGovernmentOpinion
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