There are moments in my life when the only comment that comes in my mind is “whatever…”. That’s what I also thought when I read this article at Wall Street Journal. Researcher and historian Stan Draenos glorifyies Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras with striking argumentation like “determination, effective governance and structural reforms” performed by Antonis Samaras so that he managed to restore the confidence of international markets in the Greek economy.”
Draenos even goes so far to see “Greek public has given Mr. Samaras a grudging vote of confidence to proceed with the rescue program.”
As “grudging vote of confidence” on a spring Sunday? A vote of confidence when the majority of Greek public has turned its back to unions and looks with suspicion the political parties? A vote of confidence to carry on with the impoverishment of large society groups?
To tell you the truth I am not quite sure from where a historian -Diaspora-Greek?- picks up such information and rather deliberate interpretation of the Greek reality when it comes to argue and describe the present political situation for the American audience. But as I said right at the beginning… “whatever…”
“How Samaras Got His Groove Back
Greece’s prime minister has cooled political tempers and stabilized the economy with his low-key but effective governance
A year after Greece’s cliff-hanger elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has displaced Alexis Tsipras, who heads the country’s radical-left Syriza party, as the man to watch. Last year, it was Mr. Tsipras who stunned observers after Syriza came a close second to Mr. Samaras’s center-right New Democracy party in the June parliamentary contest.
Now it is Mr. Samaras who has the initiative, charting a course whose cumulative successes have tempered political passions while strengthening Greece’s longer-term prospects. Gone are the occupations, the massive protest rallies and the violent, anarchist-led disruptions. When Parliament voted last month on a sweeping bill to implement the next stage of the bailout program, protest calls by the public-sector unions, the Communist Party and the anarchists met with only a tepid public response.
This in a country with a daunting 27% unemployment rate. Effectively, the Greek public has given Mr. Samaras a grudging vote of confidence to proceed with the rescue program.
Given the dire conditions prevailing in Greece one year ago, this is a extraordinary turnaround. With the country’s economy in collapse and the credibility of its political establishment in tatters, the fresh-faced Mr. Tsipras seemed well-placed to take power whenever the next elections were called. Mr. Samaras overcame a rocky start as prime minister to forge an unlikely coalition with the once-powerful Pasok and the small Democratic Left party.
The new government faced a Herculean challenge: convincing the country’s increasingly skeptical European and International Monetary Fund lenders that Greece could meet their strict requirements for continuing the bailout program that has kept the country out of bankruptcy over the past three years. At the December 2012 EU summit, Mr. Samaras pulled it off, earning kudos from the country’s partners, securing vital funding and frustrating Syriza, which had staked its hopes on his government’s failure.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samaras has made serious gains in restoring confidence in the economy via his low-key but effective governance. Whether or not Europe is able to find a path beyond its nagging “growth vs. austerity” conundrum, Greece is making real progress with reforms in the bloated public sector, the privatization of state-owned assets and a reduction in state expenditures. Transcending his history as a narrow nationalist, Mr. Samaras has shown unanticipated dexterity and determination in navigating the country through dire straits. (Full article WSJ)
KTG has summarized here the real Greek protests, invisible to Stans and Horsts.
I always thought that historians were busy with the past. But “whatever…”
PS One option may be these things are high-politics of which little girls have no idea about 🙂