Com­mis­sion fears Greece is ‘de­ceiv­ing’ it­self

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has asked EU coun­tries to hon­our their com­mit­ments in the run-up to a gen­eral elec­tion, which could see the rad­i­cal left rise to power in Greece, ac­cord­ing to the news and pol­icy site EurAc­tiv France.

A source in the Com­mis­sion told EurAc­tiv that rene­go­ti­a­tion of debt would cost the Eu­ro­zone dearly.

With just days to go be­fore the Greek elec­tions, ten­sions are mount­ing inside the Com­mis­sion. Jean-Claude Juncker, the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, said that the gov­ern­ment formed after Sun­day’s elec­tions must re­spect the com­mit­ments al­ready made by Athens and con­tinue with re­forms.

“Europe will con­tinue to support Greece, but it is ex­pected that Athens will stick to the prom­ises made to its part­ners,” Juncker added.

The polls are still giv­ing the rad­i­cal left wing Syriza party the lead, four days be­fore the coun­try goes to the bal­lot box.

Since the be­gin­ning of the cam­paign, the Com­mis­sion has wa­vered be­tween a the­o­ret­i­cally neu­tral po­si­tion, and the very crit­i­cal stance of its Pres­i­dent.

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“We have to al­low the elec­toral process to un­fold,” a top Com­mis­sion source told EurAc­tiv, adding, “if a na­tion wants to de­ceive it­self, it’s up to them.”

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion does not in­tend to wipe out Greece’s debt, and hopes the coun­try will stay in the eu­ro­zone, but Euro­pean of­fi­cials are mak­ing no se­cret of their ap­pre­hen­sion at the ar­rival of the rad­i­cal left at the head of the Greek gov­ern­ment.

“We must re­alise that life will go on, on 26 Jan­uary. With Sa­ma­ras it was sim­ple; with Tsipras we just don’t know. We will start a de­bate. But do not be fooled, the Na­tional Front thinks Tsipras is fan­tas­tic, sure... but the day we wipe out Greek debt, it will be the Euro­peans that pay the price, in­clud­ing France!” the top civil ser­vant said.

Marine Le Pen wrote on her blog in De­cem­ber that a “warm wind of democ­racy” was blow­ing through Greece, evok­ing the vic­tory of the peo­ple and their rep­re­sen­ta­tives over the Euro­pean oli­garchy and big fi­nance.

Alexis Tsipras’ party wants to rene­go­ti­ate the Greek pub­lic debt and re­verse the aus­ter­ity poli­cies im­ple­mented un­der the fi­nan­cial aid pro­gramme.

Greece’s re­pay­ment plan for the 240 bln euros it has re­ceived since the start of the cri­sis is sched­uled to run un­til 2022. Our Com­mis­sion source said that “any timetable rene­go­ti­a­tions will come at a cost for the eu­ro­zone.”

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