Wednesday, June 20, Greece kept holding talks on forming a coalition aimed at securing crucial funding. Meanwhile, Estonia points out that its patience with the severely indebted country is running out.
The leader of the election winner New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, is expected to announce a new government with the Socialists and a small leftist party.
Samaras has met with the Socialist Pasok and the moderate Democratic Left. Now a meeting of all three senior officials is planned to reach a common policy program for the coalition, reports The Telegraph.
Pasok has some objections to former top-ranking ministers and current legislators joining the cabinet. The Democratic Left in turn says the party will join if agreement is reached to extend the timetable for Greece to meet its budget deficit targets. It also wants to revoke the harshest austerity measures, like the demand to cut the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, there is a great fuss in the local media on as to who will join the new cabinet. It is almost certain to be led by Samaras as prime minister, while likeliest candidate for the daunting portfolio of finance minister is Vassilis Rapanos, president of National Bank.
The new government will have two crucial tasks. The first one will be to enforce Greece’s loan agreement with its foreign creditors — the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the nations of the European Union. But the other might turn out to be an even bigger challenge – it is to renegotiate the bailout terms to keep the government in power in the face of growing social unrest.
Meanwhile, Estonia has harshly criticized the ongoing Greece’s problems, noting that its patience is wearing out.
“Eurozone voters are becoming increasingly resistant to boosting bailout funds for troubled debtors like Greece,” says Andrus Ansip, Estonian Prime Minister.
According to him, there is an increasing split between voters and their elected representatives over increasing the European Union’s bailout funds, reports Reuters.
“It is very difficult to explain to people why governments are not able to find some additional funding to increase salaries of teachers and why it is that they are able to easily find some financing to support Greece.”
Ansip says residents of Estonia, one of the bloc’s poorest nations, wonder why they should help rich Greeks, reports Reuters.