Editorial: aiding Athens. Again

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Photo: Urmas Nemvalts

The debate over Package No 3 for Greece at Estonia's Riigikogu was filled with high sounding terminology as «faith» and «believe» kept popping up constantly. 

As was to be expected, the session was lean when it comes to content. The people present broadly fell in two categories: the believers who expect Athens to get her act together at third try, and the unbelievers.  

Europe wants no instability, thus the Stability Mechanism – ESM. Rather predictably, Estonian parliament granted its green light for the attempts to continue.

Instability equals unpredictability. While analyst claim a Grexit would no longer amount to a fatal blow for euro, eurozone and EU, a chain reaction might still prove scary. Potentially, as Greece goes (or is made to), so goes the faith in the European idea – promoted in the name of peace since WW2 and thus far working.

While the big picture is understood, believing in Greece is no piece of cake. As vividly painted before finance minister Sven Sester by questions posed by opposition.

With the new financial package, the Greek loan burden peaks at 200.9 percent of GDP in 2016. And supposedly comes down after that. Supposedly... for who could swear that the sweeping reforms prescribed actually happen?

Reforms would require political will realised by politicians mandated by the people. To get the mandate, citizens need to be explained why the tough decisions are needed. Here, the Greek prime minister and his Syriza party pose quite a question mark. In July, they arranged a no-referendum. Following which they sat down to talk again.  

Clearly, the third package will not commence without Greek actions. Prudently, Estonia has said it supports not debt cancellation while willing to discuss stuff like grace periods and review of interests. Perhaps Greece could use that indeed. But they must definitely do something this time around.

Anyway, it was Faith Day yesterday.

* On cartoon: «Well, eh...  of course I believe in Greece. My pleasure!»