Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is holding a face-to-face meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Greek PM is seeking to extent Greece’s time to meet bailout-imposed fiscal targets. Samaras needs two more years. For the economy to breath, as he said recently. then the recession has hit the debt-ridden country much more than the technocrats from IMF, EU and ECB could predict. In 2012, recession is stuck at -7 percent. Tax evasion seems to be at its peak with more and more Greeks unwilling to pay their contribution to state debts – either out of lack of money or out of mentality. Those who still pay taxes are the employees and the pensioners. they hardly have a way to escape the grip of the tax officers. And hardly a self-employed businesman is issuing a receipt. Stealing the Value Added Tax for the shake of the own pocket.
Angela Merkel is not willing to move from her rigid position, at least not before the Troika has concluded its report about Greece’s progress. All German officials who are entitled to say something (Schaeuble, Roesler) have sent a clear message to Greeks: Do your homework and thus as soon as possible. Also Merkel signaled that there would be no decision during the meeting on Friday.
Equally clear was the common message, Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande sent to Greece on Thursday: “Do your homework, first!” And Hollande added: “We want Greece is the euro zone.”
And yet, Antonis Samaras is under pressure. He has to announce to Greeks the package of additional austerity measures, a package worth 11.5 billion euro that will affect our lives in the following two years.
Merkel to Samaras: Watch out! Slippery Reforms Ahead!
Many of these measures will turn upside down Samaras’ promises before the elections of last June. some of these measures are even threatening the cohesion of Samaras’ three-party coalition government.
Therefor Samaras is under pressure and needs a “successful achievement” before he reveals the painful measures to the Greeks. Sometime between end of August and beginning/middle of September.
He needs a politically “successful achievement” that his EU partners seem unwilling to give. At least, not now.
Already average Greeks wonder, what’s the purpose of Samaras meeting Juncker, Merkel and Hollande now, if the time is premature and he cannot get what he wants.
“Why is he meeting all these people now, if they’re not willing to give him the green light for the extension?” my 70-year-old aunt asked me earlier today, while we were watching the news.
The answer came directly from state broadcaster NET. “They [Merkel] could say, that they recognise the Greeks’ efforts.”
It looks as if this would be the only consent Samaras would get in Berlin and in Paris. He already secured this statement by Euro Group head Juncker. Now it’s time for Merkel and Hollande to support Samaras with their verbal support.
I expect nothing more for the time being…