Greek politicians form new government;Germany may agree to extend austerity timetable.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Greece. His government will receive the backing of Pasok and the Democratic left giving it a clear parliamentary majority of 179 seats out of 300. However, the precise terms on which Pasok and the Democratic left have joined the coalition are still not completely clear. Both parties seem reluctant to take cabinet seats and are still seeking a needed reduction in the harshness of the austerity they have signed on to.

In the case of Pasok there was according to the Athens press a strong internal debate about their senior politicians not taking cabinet posts while the Democratic Left has definitely decided not to enter the cabinet. Economic conditions continue to worsen in Greece and the GDP is expected to shrink by a further 7 % this year. How far their needs can be accommodated remain unclear since aside from hinting at giving Greece more time to repay its loans the German Chancellor remains strongly opposed to other needed measures. However, it appears that European officials are inclined to the appearance of greater flexibility . How substantive these changes will be remains to be seen. For its part Syriza continued to critique the neo-liberal basis of the austerity policies suggesting that the new government was not prepared to go far enough in demanding renegotiation of the terms.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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