Even though Greece and European leaders reached a deal early Monday to prevent a potential “Grexit” from the euro, many challenges remain. And the impact of the ongoing issues with Greece is unlikely to remain contained to businesses in the European Union.
“The fact is that reaching an agreement between the negotiators was just the first step and perhaps the easier of them,” said Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. “Now the arrangements will have to be approved by groups that have already expressed a great deal of hostility and pessimism.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is no longer operating through a position of strength, which may make it harder for him to push anything through. “The Tsipras government has fought these concessions tooth and nail and deliberately rallied the population into rejecting the very provisions he has agreed to only a couple of weeks later,” said Kuehl. “His base now considers him a liar or a coward or both, and there is nothing left of his political authority.”
The ripple effect of the crisis impacted businesses in the United States as well. Take, for example, the Devoo Greek Deli & Specialty Market in Baltimore, which imports much of its products from a family farm in Greece. “We haven’t been able to wire money to some of our suppliers,” said owner Dimitri Komninos. “We do get a variety of olives from other farmers and they have asked us not to send money since the banks have been closed.”
While the Greece deal with European leaders takes a step toward rectifying the situation, Kuehl notes that it now enters “the realm of politics and that makes [its] passage anything but assured.”
- Jennifer Lehman, NACM Marketing and Communications Associate