Saturday, June 16, 2012 Editorial: "Greece's creditors matter as much as its voters"

I do not agree with the conclusion stated in the title of this editorial, but this post at provides a recent overview of the political environment going into this weekend's election in Greece.
Greece’s parliamentary election, a rerun from an indecisive ballot last month, has become a two-horse race between the conservative New Democracy and the leftist SYRIZA.
New Democracy is telling Greeks they can either vote for the conservatives, stay in the euro and continue the European Union’s austerity program; or vote for SYRIZA, default, leave the euro and suffer even more. This is probably true. However, New Democracy got Greece into the mess it’s in, through an orgy of overspending and state-sanctioned corruption. It’s hard to imagine the party driving through the changes that Greece will need to grow again, if left alone.
SYRIZA’s fiery young leader, Alexis Tsipras, says Greece can junk the austerity program attached to its bailout, and that Europe will go on lending money for a pro-growth stimulus package.
If this is true, looks like the SYRIZA party if elected is going to call the bluff of the EU on Greece's imposed austerity.  As we hear from those currently in positions of authority in Germany and the UK:
In the past few days, Greeks have heard from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that they can expect no relief from austerity. His U.K. counterpart, George Osborne, said Germany may even want Greece to leave the euro, because that would help persuade German taxpayers to rescue more important economies.
So looks like no let up of the hardline against Greece taken by significant others in the EU going into the vote.

This source is also running a live blog related to the elections here, though it does not look like it has been updated as of this post time.


Clonal said...

Yanis Varoufakis has a good article - Greece’s Choice: Bargaining versus pleading

Today, Greek voters are going to the polling stations torn by the momentous choice that they must make. Should they vote for a party (Syriza) promising to bargain with Europe for better terms and conditions or for parties (primarily conservative New Democracy and/or the socialist PASOK) that are, effectively, proposing to plead with Europe for better terms and conditions? Ostensibly, both sides of the argument are promising to negotiate with the troika (the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund). However, in truth, the so-called pro-bailout parties (ND and PASOK) are running on a platform that any deal with Greece’s official creditors is better than no deal. So, in view of the preceding definition of genuine bargaining, they are ruling genuine negotiations out, courtesy of their determination not to draw a ‘line in the sand’

The voters’ dilemma gets worse because of the risks involved e.ither way. Pro-bailout parties argue against the ‘line in the sand’ strategy because they believe that such a ‘line’, if it must be adhered to (e.g. following a tough negotiating line by the troika), will lead Greece out of the euro, thus costing Greece more than toeing the troika’s ‘line’ (i.e. Greece is doing as it is told). In sharp contrast, Syriza is arguing (drawing upon the sorry experience of kowtowing to the troika’s every whim during the past two years) that the greatest risk facing Greece is sticking to the present course of precipitous degeneration which inexorably, and speedily, leads Greece… out of the euro.

Oliver said...

Germany may even want Greece to leave the euro, because that would help persuade German taxpayers to rescue more important economies

By causing immense chaos? But yeah, this certainly seems a plausible explanation for the continuing hard talk coming form Berlin. Force Greece out first and then do a 180° for all the other periphery countries. And hurray, we have a scape goat. Greece was the problem all along...

Clonal said...

Germany wants the EuroZone to be a "Roach Motel (TM)" In other words, a "Black Flag attack"

Matt Franko said...

Greece soccer victory:

"“We are inspired by the history of Greece,” Santos told the Irish journalist who asked the question. “The Greek people have great pride in their history and this deserves people’s respect. Civilization, democracy and the sciences started in Greece. It is difficult for others to give us lessons.”

Getting fired up....