In search of a nar­ra­tive

Tsipras seek­ing ways to re­verse gov­ern­ment’s down­ward spi­ral in Septem­ber

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

In the lead up to his hol­i­days that be­gin this week­end, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras will be seek­ing to lay the ground­work that will en­able his gov­ern­ment to seize the ini­tia­tive af­ter the sum­mer re­cess and turn the tide of dis­con­tent that is threat­en­ing to drown his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

To this end, Tsipras will re­port­edly make the most of com­ing days with a se­ries of meet­ings with se­nior of­fi­cials in the ef­fort to draft a re­al­is­tic and co­he­sive roadmap which will spell out the steps needed to se­cure the coun­try’s course to­ward a full re­cov­ery af­ter its cur­rent bailout ex­pires in 2018.

At the same time, he is ex­pected to make a de­ci­sion with re­gard to the tim­ing and na­ture of the cabi­net reshuf­fle that is on the cards.

As re­gards the piv­otal dates that lie ahead which the gov­ern­ment hopes to build on to re­verse the down­ward trend in its ap­proval rat­ings, Tsipras is bank­ing on the an­nual Thes­sa­loniki In­ter­na­tional Fair in early Septem­ber.

This will be pre­ceded by the visit to Athens on Septem­ber 7 and 8 of French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron.

Apart from photo ops, Tsipras is hop­ing to se­cure tan­gi­ble re­sults – with re­gard to French in­vest­ment in Greece – that he can present in Thes­sa­loniki. Ac­cord­ing to sources, French com­pa­nies have ex­pressed in­ter­est in re­vamp­ing the north­ern port.

This, Athens hopes, will add cre­dence to the left­ist-led coali­tion’s nar­ra­tive that it it is now turn­ing to growth and job cre­ation af­ter a long string of painful tax hikes and spend­ing cuts.

With this in mind, he is ex­pected to an­nounce a se­ries of mea­sures aim­ing to boost small busi­nesses and self-em­ployed pro­fes­sion­als, who have been hard hit by the im­po­si­tion of re­lent­less aus­ter­ity.

More­over, he will seek to en­hance his gov­ern­ment’s left­ist cre­den­tials at the Thes­sa­loniki Fair – which have been se­verely com­pro­mised by aus­ter­ity – by pre­sent­ing ini­tia­tives aimed at boost­ing the wel­fare state, health and ed­u­ca­tion.

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