This June will be the government’s most difficult since 2015, with at least five main political challenges.
It is a month of crucial decisions on debt relief, post-memorandum surveillance, and of possible challenges in Greek-Turkish relations.
The key dates are:
21 June, when the Eurogroup will decide both debt relief measures and post-memorandum supervision.
Athens will also be concerned about the day after the Turkish elections on 24 June, and what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intentions will be.
The June28-29 EU summit will concern itself with the accession process of the Western Balkans, with Skopje hoping to receive a date to start talks after a possible naming settlement with Greece.
Then on July 11-12 there will be the Nato summit, where again Skopje hopes to join the Alliance.
The five hot potatoes that the PM must balance are as follows:
- The economy, where the harsh measures in the updated memorandum suggest that the post-bailout period will be tough and burdensome.
- The potential exit of the IMF from the Greek programme will deprive Athens of a solid certification of debt sustainability, and the country will be totally at the mercy of Berlin. The IMF has been an ally in promoting major debt reduction.
- If the new Italian government pursues an exit from the euro, the EU will be in turmoil, and turbulence in the markets can endanger Greece’s exit from the bailout and return to the markets.
- In the FYROM naming issue, the two likeliest names are New or Upper Macedonia. The Zaev government would have to hold a referendum and amend the constitution. Athens will be subjected to strong pressures from Washington and Berlin, and would have to garner the votes to pass a settlement in parliament.
- Finally, after the 24 June Turkish presidential elections, if Erdogan does not win by a substantial margin it will be the beginning of the end, and the impact on Greek-Turkish relations will be precarious. The economic crisis may be a temptation for Ankara to export its problems to the Aegean and the Mediterranean. The government will focus on securing the release of the two Greek army officers imprisoned in Turkey.