Greece and the ongoing political crisis
Greece and the ongoing political crisis
Joachim de Villiers, Walter Sebastian and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Karolos Papoulias of Greece has begun crucial political talks with the three main parties of this nation in order to solve the current crisis. If he fails then another election will take place and given the severity of the economic and political situation, then this will put further pressure on all main institutions. The European Union (EU) is watching events and fears a possible major clash with Greece if anti-bailout parties win the day.
For the last few days all the main political parties tried to solve this delicate situation. However, the far-left Syriza political bloc, the socialist Pasok political party, and the conservative New Democracy (ND), have all failed to garner enough seats within respective coalitions. Therefore, the stalemate continues to threaten a fresh election which will most likely benefit anti-bailout political parties.
In this sense, the EU is hoping that Karolos Papoulias can break the chain of events and that soon Greece will have a national government to focus on the dire economic situation. The two main losers during the first election were ND and Pasok because their respective share of the vote plummeted. ND remains the largest party in terms of seats which were won. However, this was a hollow victory because in terms of power, then they have been reduced dramatically, and clearly a fresh election threatens to unleash further hemorrhaging.
European central bankers and Germany are adamant that the bailout conditions must be met. Yet, given the current political reality then this is “a poison chalice” because the rate of unemployment is alarming. Also, the austerity package and political assertiveness of Germany, is undermining the sovereignty of Greece and the same applies to European bureaucrats who appear to be dictating terms.
Of course, political opinion in Greece is deeply divided because some believe that the austerity package will enable this country to bounce back in the future. However, others believe that the conditions are unwarranted and creating more problems for the people of Greece. Irrespective of the way ahead, it is going to be painful either way because the crisis is very deep and you have no easy way out.
Alex Tsipras, leading figure within the left-wing Syriza bloc, is adamant that the bailout conditions are wrong because the various conditions are hurting the people of Greece beyond what is reasonable. Panos Skourletis, spokesperson for Syriza, commented that “It is obvious that there is an effort to bring about a government that will implement the bailout. We are not participating in such a government.”
In another article about the political and economic crisis in Greece by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stated that“If the power vacuum remains then Greece will be unable to obtain an international loan and the repercussions could mean bankruptcy. Also, powerful nations in Europe who support the German methodology will be at a loss because they believe that they are trying to help Greece overcome its dire economic reality. Therefore, another clash with EU leaders is on the cards unless the pro-bailout parties can form a government.”
Many EU countries are alarmed by events in Greece because if the bailout conditions are ignored by an anti-bailout leadership, then something will have to give way. After all, it appears most unlikely that European central bankers and Germany will climb down from their current position because they fear “a can of worms” whereby agreements can just be ignored.
Ethnos, a daily socialist newspaper, commented that politicians were now playing “Russian roulette” with the economy. Something will have to give way but for now it is difficult to predict which side will cave in. Also, if a fresh election is called and anti-bailout parties increase their respective power bases – then surely a major clash with the EU will emerge. If this happens, then this could ultimately lead to Greece exiting the eurozone.
For now, it is difficult to say which way the pendulum will swing.