Just one day after a massive rally over the contentious issue of the relations of Greece with neighbouring FYRoM, now to be styled “Northern Macedonia”, a new uphill trek for the Greek Government: the EU team of post-Programme Greek economy enhanced surveillance should already be in Athens to check on a series of commitments of Greece and establish a progress report to the Eurogroup over this surveillance operation.
Meanwhile, the markets do not seem to be really appreciative of Greek efforts. Ten-year Greek bonds carry a 4.2% yield; only five-years are close to 3% and this on the very day the Government in place has obtained a fresh vote of confidence at Parliament.
Reforms to which Greece is committed such as progressing in privatisations (to find new buyers for coal-fired plants of the Public Power Corporation, sell-of of the natural gas corporation, freeing the old site of the Athens Airport for development etc), rationalizing the public-health sector, bringing the Greek courts to the era of e-Justice, manning adequately the independent tax collection. Authority and so forth, all these items are on the watch-list for the enhanced surveillance report.
Still, most important to the current review operation are the commitments to reduce the mountain of NPLs carried in the portfolios of Greek banks, along with slashing the inextricable web of private debt to the tax authorities (and Social Security) and of arrears of the State to businesses and/or private citizens. The problem – or: the main interesting point – with such commitments is that if dealt with in a short-sighted bureaucratic way, the surveillance operation will bring no good to either the Greek economy, or to the country’s relations with its creditors.