Political wrangling pushing Greece back to the edge

Instability ever more of a risk, economy affected

16 October, 14:50

    (by Demetrio Manolitsakis).

    (ANSAmed) - ATHENS, OCTOBER 16 - Following a short-lived pause when international political and economic observers seemed convinced Greece was finally on firm ground, there is once more talk of risks to Greek stability due to the political system.

    The government, after polls showing that the parties in it (Nea Dimokratia and PASOK) were losing ever more support, is now rushing to gain greater backing, make concessions, free itself of international creditors (IMF, EU and ECB) and get back onto international markets through ignoring the recommendations of the IMF and its European allies, who feel it is too soon for the country to get back onto the markets and that the required structural reforms have not yet been carried out. On the other side are opposition parties - and especially the radical leftist Syriza - which are taking advantage of the imminent presidential elections (Karolos Papoulias's term ends in February 2015) to insist on calling early parliamentary elections, which would inevitably lead to a lengthy period of political instability. The Athens stock exchange has dropped below the psychological threshold of 1,000 points, interest rates on 10-year government bonds has risen above 7% and is thus back to March 2012 levels, sovereign wealth funds are shifting their money elsewhere and investors seem deeply concerned that the country may leave the agreements with international creditors early and about the risks that early elections would pose to the national economy. The government and opposition continue nonetheless to trade accusations in order to reach the ''magic'' number of MPs: 180 for the coalition government to be able to elect the head of state and to prevent early elections, and 121 for the opposition, which would pave the way for them. (ANSAmed).

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