Op-Ed/The hare who was called Stournaras

Op-Ed/The hare who was called Stournaras

Athens, August 8, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Panic is a bad counselor and this can be seen by the developments lately in the political and media scene. There is no other way to interpret the attempt of the old political-economic status quo to highlight issues that are nonexistent.

Amid the tender for broadcasting licenses and while the board is investigating the loans of political parties and the media, drops the “bomb” on Stournaras.

A group of “leading” personalities of erstwhile mighty modernizing PASOK organises a “Last Supper” to determine the future of the center-left. In the role of Messiah the former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, the man who passed the ring of succession to Giorgos Papandreou, after having managed first to literally dissolve PASOK.

At the same table, Theodoros Pangalos, Anna Diamantopoulou, Tassos Giannitsis, Michalis Chrysochoeidis, Giorgos Floridis, the host Vassilis Kontogiannopoulos and the Governor of the Bank of Greece Yannis Stournaras. All of them, except Stournaras, are currently politically inactive and with little footholds in civil society, having connected their name with the status quo that led Greece to bankruptcy.

According to the story-leak, the central banker was asked to take a leading role in the restoration of the center-left, foreseeing that both Fofi Gennimata and Stavros Theodorakis, either do not want or can not succeed. Always according to the story, Stournaras refused.

The “Last Supper” immediately became the main news in the systemic media, in a bid to cause a political earthquake and uncertainty to the government. Headlines and articles discovered – as if it was a secret – the dispute between government central banker, while some media eyed positively the rise of Stournaras to leadership; hoping to what?

Can Yannis Stournaras step up and unite the center-left?

Yannis Stournaras has linked his name with the memoranda policy, since he was Minister of Finance in the Samara- Venizelos government, with what this entails, from decisions, measures and memorandum obligations.

What’s more, he does not have access to society nor the center-left space, given that he has never been an active party member, even though he stood by the state positions of PASOK governments. How then could he lead the center-left?

The appointment of the Governor of the Bank of Greece is for six years and this means he will serve until 2020, something which of course is not guaranteed by his involvement with politics. To attempt to remove him from his position there must be the agreement of the ECB, which is not easy to attain, if he himself does not want out.

Also, it would make little sense for the opposition for a sympathetic towards them central banker to step down, if they hope that SYRIZA will lose the next election. A possible change now would bring a BoG Governor of the choosing of the SYRIZA-ANEL Government, with whom they would have to cooperate later.

But why was chosen this time chosen to publicize this meeting and the supposed processes in the center-left?

The Government begins to see light at the end of the tunnel. The refugee crisis, the Brexit, the North-South disparities in the EU, are changing the way Greece is being viewed. Alexis Tsipras has begun to gain allies, while there are also the initiatives he undertakes for the EU of the next day. The sign is positive and that frightens both the financial-political status quo and its tails.

From the kinematic Left he moves towards social democracy and is now an active member of the European Socialist Party. The geopolitical liquidity in the region forces even the most negatively predisposed towards Greece to upgrade it geopolitically and recognize its importance as a stable and reliable power in the region.

This empowers Alexis Tsipras to make those changes he considers necessary both at an institutional and political level.

But the biggest change both the opposition and the power system of the media and the banks fear is the cracking down of corruption and interweaving. In a self preservation effort the interweaving system uses hares like Stournaras in its attempt to shake the government. All this effort of course will be in vain, if the government really wants to crack down corruption and interweaving.