The prime minister may proclaim at every turn that the general election will be held in October, 2019, but his public statements and the climate of handouts that he is cultivating suggest that the polls are not far off.
It is by now obvious that Mr. Tsipras is creating an electoral climate with a mixture of scandal-mongering and pledges of benefits for various groups, in the hope that he might turn the negative tide that is registered in all surveys for himself and his government.
Thus, yesterday in parliament he celebrated the class-based policy that he says he is implementing and the “social dividend” that he will distribute.
The only problem is that the “dividend” does not derive from the economy’s “super-performance” as he claims, but from the destructive over-taxation that saps the income of the vast majority of Greek citizens.
Tax revenues are far greater than what is demanded by the suffocating 3.5 percent primary surplus agreed to with creditors, but they allow Mr. Tsipras to implement a truly class-based policy that levels the many and allows him to hand out small gifts to the few.
Beyond the choke-hold on the real economy, the PM is on the one hand fashioning and maintaining a culture of benefits which is reminiscent of the practices that led the country to bankruptcy, and on the other hand he is cultivating in society a climate of atomised minor demands which erode the political system.
With the economy still on the brink, with weak growth, with a continuing high rate of unemployment, and with private sector salaries barely at sustenance levels, the pressures for benefits and handouts will be perpetuated constantly.
Many still believe that the money exists and hence we can make demands. It is indicative that there is a cottage industry of lawsuits demanding the return of money cut from pensions and arrears. With this logic, the country is condemned to perpetual underdevelopment and people will ever more seek benefits in order to survive.
Woe to the country if it expects that pensions and benefits will bring higher growth rates, as the government maintains, but its choice has been known for quite a while.
The government is not interested in the general interest of the country and its citizens. The only thing that concerns it is opportunistic planning in order to garner a few more votes.