Tsakalotos May Quit Over Reforms

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is dealing with a lot of headaches

Unhappy he could be forced to sign more austerity measures, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos may quit, German media reports said.

Tsakalotos is a Marxist economist in the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras but is being forced to accept Capitalist measures demanded by the country’s international creditors.

Tsakalotos has been leading Greek negotiations with the Quartet of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-IMF-ECB-ESM) as part of a third bailout of 86 billion euros ($97.3 billion) that Tsipras said he would never seek nor accept but did both.

The rescue package though comes with more Draconian conditions, including pension cuts, chasing people with bad loans who can’t pay their loans, credit cards and mortgages because of big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings and the fire sale of Greek assets SYRIZA once also opposed.

The German newspaper Bild and TV station Ntv claimed Tsakalotos was contemplating resigning because he’s so upset over signing bills imposing pension cuts and big tax hikes that used to be antithetical to SYRIZA principles but accepted as the party was forced to submit to the Quartet just as did previous Greek governments it condemned.

Bild added that money was running out in state coffers, while the political situation was deteriorating and Tsakalotos was threatening to leave.

The German business newspaper Handelsblatt said that SYRIZA is experiencing a “déjà-vu” moment, similar to the summer of 2015, “given that it must decide in a few days to agree with lenders no matter what. Otherwise, Greece’s money will run out.”

Negotiations over reforms attached to the third bailout have lagged for eight months with almost no progress although Tsipras and Tsakalotos frequently say breakthroughs are imminent only to be constantly disproved.

Berlin’s Tagesspiegel wrote that, “The new element is that if Greece wants to receive more billions (in euros) from the third bailout, then the country must swallow another bitter pill. It will be obliged, under creditors’ pressure, to take more austerity measures as a conti

Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger wrote that Tsipras, whose coalition with the pro-austerity, far-right Independent Greeks (ANEL) has only a three-vote majority in Parliament, “has the tendency to ‘short-circuit’ when he feels he’s being cornered. He avoids responsibility and lets the voters decide. It is very likely that he will hold a referendum or seek snap election.”