July 17, 2019 11:13 am

New Greek Government faces big hurdles

Change of power in Greece: The conservative party Nea Dimokratia (ND) has won the parliamentary elections on 7 July. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the opposition party won the elections with 39.9 percent of the vote. The ND thus receives the absolute majority of seats in the 300-member parliament. The new prime minister of Greece is the opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis (51).

Conversely, the former governing Left Party Syriza led by Alexis Tsipras (44) has won a total of 31.5 percent of the vote, followed by the Social Democratic Party Kinima Allagis, which with 8.1 percent is now the third strongest party in parliament.

After the election victory, the new Greek head of government Mitsotakis faces tough times. As the Welt reports, the EU Commission recently ascribed massive problems to the Mediterranean country: enormous national debt of more than 180 percent of GDP, countless non-performing loans in the balance sheets of the banks and continued very high unemployment.

According to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung the stock of non-performing loans at Greece’s major banks amounts to around 42 percent of the total credit volume. So that the financial institutions can nevertheless grant new loans to boost the economy, the new Finance Minister Christos Staikouras (45) must from now on do some real convincing work for the EU Commission. According to the NZZ report, however, serious negotiations will only begin after the presentation of the budget for 2020 and the assumption of office by the new EU Commission. NZZ

This post was written by Jens Secker

(Image rights: istockphoto.com/anyaivanova)

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