2012 heralds the Year of the Dragon in Chinese astrology, the most auspicious of all animals, making this a year of momentous occurrences and good fortune, (except for those born in the year of the Dragon who will see a tough year ahead). This however does not necessarily equal good financial fortune, that is more commonly associated with the year of the Pig which passed us by in 2007, and we all remember what followed in 2008.
So what does 2012 hold for Greece, where the markets are looking positively bearish - if we are to continue with the animal analogies. Well, according to Chinese astrologers, Greece certainly has a lot more hardship and tough decisions ahead of it. According to one Feng Shui practitioner, Greece as well as its southern neighbours such as Italy and Turkey will see an initial slump in its markets in the first half of the year, only to see these slumps become even stronger as the year wears on. Analysts are already projecting that eurozone economies will see negative growth this year with the region contracting by about 0.7 per cent. And while many local pundits are publicising the on-going saga that are the PSI+ negotiations as a cure all to Greece's sovereign debt problem, we know that this is far from the truth. Indeed just recently Angel Gurria, head of the OECD, has stated that, “After we have overcome this debt hurdle there will come the more difficult question of having sustainable, sustained, growth over the medium and the long term and that requires a very serious structural transformation of the Greek economy, of the Greek administration.” She also went on to add that Greece could do a lot more with regard to privatisations and structural changes and that tax collection needed urgent reform.
The same negative outlook in the Year of the Dragon cannot be said for the rest of Europe however. Germany, England, and France are singled out and slated for a better performance, even their banking and insurance sector will amazingly see itself stabilise, while real estate in England will once again boom. If last year's reports are to be believed, that Greek money was fleeing the country and being invested in London's west end, there could be some nugget of truth in this little prediction.
Overall however astrologers remain optimistic on the fate of the Euro with predictions concurring that the Euro will remain intact, weaker against the Pound and the US Dollar, but intact nonetheless.
2012 is also the year for innovation and innovative businesses ideas, according to another astrologer "We will see many new technology trends and more people will become comfortable using technology in their lifestyles." If this is true, this is good news for Greece's innovators and a good time as any to implement the innovative changes that are so desperately needed in Greece's public sector to achieve reform and transparency. Innovation can also serve to help boost Greece's private sector and improve its global competitiveness as it searches for new markets abroad.
This year will also the year for love and passion and will be full of romance and justice. Justice in that lies will be revealed, so unfaithful lovers take note. Is this perhaps a call for Greece to be more faithful to its promises that it made to its European partners? For the most part it has been revealed that many reforms promised have not been carried out. And if Greece is to remain a trusted partner, and to finally take its future in its hands these reforms must be carried out. There is no denying that it will be a tough road ahead to achieving debt sustainability by 2020, but if there is a will there is a way.
And what astrological sign will it be then I hear you ask, why 2019 till January 2020 will be the year of the Pig and good financial fortune.
Happy Lunar New Year!