Sunday 22 April 2018

Politicians must get voters back on side if crisis to end

The one element missing from all the analysis of the EU crisis is the political one; governments must reconnect with people, writes ADRIAN HAMILTON

SO, the Greek parliament has voted to pass the "crucial" budget cuts, albeit with the narrowest of majorities. And we seem to be exactly where we were before. The strikes go on. The Greek public rejects the cuts. Economists continue to predict a default. Politicians and commentators outside still talk of the demise of the euro and even of the EU.

Of course, it might have been very different if the parliament had rejected the deal. Financial meltdown was the least of the gloomy warnings from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Yet even that was being welcomed by some economists as preferable to a long and lingering crisis with only one ultimate conclusion -- Greece's default on its debt and its exit from the euro.

They may be right, of course. But the one element that has been missing from all this analysis has been the political one.

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