Greece (MNN) — After a tumultuous weekend that had Greece
teetering on the brink of insolvency, the
Prime Minister stepped down and leaders of the two main political parties reached
an historic power-sharing deal that would pave the way for a massive financial
Tasos Ioannidis with AMG International says, "The unity government should be
formed in the next couple of days. The next steps would be to introduce the
terms of the agreement in Parliament to ratify those, and then the Europeans
should extend the next part of the loan."
The new government's mission will be to implement the October
26 European summit decision on a second Greek financing package of 130 billion
euros ($178.7 billion).
The former deputy head of the
European Central Bank, Lucas Papademos, emerged as
the frontrunner with enough credibility and experience to keep things stable
for now. Ioannidis notes that "probably,
getting the unity government is the easy part. Implementing all the structural
reforms that need to take place is going to be the hard part. A lot of work has
to be done in a very short period of time, and then there'll probably be
elections in probably February or March of next year."
Any new premier will have the job of getting the parties to
work together, whether or not the leaders join the cabinet. The two parties have tentatively agreed that
the election is likely to take place on February 19.
The sooner the better. Faith in the Euro project has been badly
shaken. The road ahead has will be a hard one. "The Greek people have been told that
it'll take 10 years to get out of this, so they know that it's going to be a
very long time before the country recovers. They are worried about the future. They are suffering right now. There
are no good solutions at this point, so they are trying to find the road that
is least bad."
Austerity measures–a condition of the bailout loans–created deep pension cuts and added to
the tax burden and job losses. This has helped to keep Greece in four
successive years of recession. As a result, says Ioannidis, "We
have seen the greater need of people asking for help. People have lost their
jobs and they're trying to help their families survive, so we have a lot of people that are asking us for help.
We also have a lot of people coming to St. Luke's Hospital asking for help. We
are trying to do what we can with the limited resource that we have at this
AMG's ministry team has adjusted their outreach as the
conditions have worsened. From the
bookstores to St. Luke's Hospital, their mission is unchanged. They've flexed with the needs, which has
cleared new paths. "There is an increased need for physical help. There is
a desperation which means people also need spiritual help. There is more openness to the Gospel. We're
trying to do what we can with limited resources at this point."
Funds are still needed to keep things moving forward. The hospital has been hard hit because the
government has been unable to pay for services rendered. However, the AMG team urges prayer for the
country's new direction, wisdom for the leaders and a peaceful transition. "Be praying that God will continue to
open opportunities to share the Gospel. They need the hope that only can Christ
can bring at this point. We need to be more active than ever in proclaiming the
truths of the Gospel, in helping people in the point of their need."