Troika-fatigue: Are Greek lawmakers tired of austerity? FinMin Stournaras claims so

Posted by in Politics

Maybe. Maybe not. At least Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras claimed, that Greek lawmakers were tired of austerity and that “the fatigue of MPs” could cause a political risk for Greece’s fiscal targets.

Stournaras’ interview to Reuters, woke up the tired Greek MPs especially those of coalition government partner PASOK. Those loyal to leader Evangelos Venizelos who allegedly has a natural aversion towards Stournaras.

In his office overlooking parliament – where a window still bears a large crack from a bullet fired by angry anti-austerity demonstrators in 2010 – Stournaras confirmed Greece was on track to produce a budget surplus this year before interest payments and said economic risk had abated.

Instead, he said the biggest challenge ahead was mainly a political one tied to austerity fatigue.

“I don΄t see any economic risk – it΄s political risk and it has to do with the fatigue of MPs,” he said.

“MPs just reflect the average man or woman in the street – they have to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If they believe it they will continue voting the few necessary measures left over, if they don΄t they are not going to. This is the great risk.” (full story here)

Stournaras’ interview to Reuters, violently woke up the coalition government MPs especially those of coalition partner PASOK. Those loyal to leader Evangelos Venizelos who allegedly has a natural aversion towards Stournaras. PASOK parliament group chairman proposed the “detzarization *of the political agenda” and noted that it’s not possible that everything pass though the strainer of the finance Ministry.

Tired PASOK MPs let Stournaras know that they don’t plan to vote in favor of the lifting of the ban for primary residence evictions.

On Wednesday one ‘tired’ PASOK MP downvoted a bill aiming to privatize the Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP).

Also lawmakers of  Samaras’ Nea Dimocratia rebelled against Stournaras’ allegations, with one stressing it was “pure nonsense”, while another proposed “those who are tired should go.”

Tired or not, rebel or not… neither PM Samaras, nor deputy PM Venizelos can afford to get rid of tired or rebelling lawmakers. The majority the two coalition government parties have in the Parliament is dangerously thin: 155 seats in a Parliament of 300.

*tzar of Economy: title for the Greek Finance Minister. Any finance minister…