The SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government has thrown all its weight behind postponing pension cuts, in an obvious bid to extend its term beyond January, 2019, when they take effect, in accordance with the agreement the government itself has signed.
Hence, the question that arises is how far the government is willing to go in order to remain in power for a few more months.
One of the negotiating cards it plans to use is debt relief, as Ta Nea’s report today reveals.
Effectively, it wants to impose a new term on an obligation it has already undertaken and passed into law: If creditors do not proceed with debt relief then the government will not cut pensions.
Undoubtedly this is a peculiar brand of bargaining. It is as if you had agreed to the price of a product some time ago, but the buyer, who happens to be in a vulnerable position, suddenly remembers to ask for a discount.
Meanwhile, all this is happening for reasons of political self-interest, without offering any real relief to citizens.
What would make sense would be for the government to marshal all its power and negotiating capability to find ways cut taxes, which have burdened citizens inordinately, and not to try and drive a bargain that aims to shift the cost of pension cuts to the next government.