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Greece: its going to get tougher « Previous | |Next »
June 18, 2012

Greek voters failed to conclusively back a new government on May 6 to lead them out of a debt crisis that has seen the nation consider default on their debt repayments and shake the euro zone to the core.That failure, which resulted in days of painstaking negotiations as the nation’s main parties scrambled unsuccessfully to form a coalition government, set the stage for the Greeks return to the polls votes on Sunday.

AdelaidePosterGreece.jpg Gary Sauer-Thompson, travel poster, Adelaide, 2012

The vote on Sunday is seen as referendum on Greece’s current bailout and its strict austerity measures.This election could prove just as inconclusive as the last; or more likely, a coalition will be reached following Sunday’s election because the situation in Greece is now more desperate than it was in May. It is more than likely that the right---ie., New Democracy--- will gain the most votes, forms a coalition, and Syriza becomes the opposition.

Meanwhile the social security system is collapsing, hospitals are suffering dire shortages, one in four workers is unemployed and the rest fear that their turn is coming. Women have been hit hard: not only have they been disproportionately affected by public sector cuts but are also still expected to do the lion's share of care work. People remain unpaid.

Its going to get tougher for Greece. It stays in the eurozone with a weak coalition government mandated to go along with a long and brutal process of austerity that reduces the cost base of a weak Greece. From Berlin's perspective Greece is a lost cause, but the sole reason for it not being abandoned is that it may make a bad situation a lot worse.

The harsh economic reality is that the drivers of the global economy have shifted to Asia (eg. India and China) and that Europe faces a decade of low growth. The 21st century is an Asian century.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:13 AM | | Comments (7)


Syriza is a party that garnered a mere 4.6% of the vote in 2009 It gained 27% on Sunday. Syriza is now a very strong and powerful opposition. Resistance to further austerity measures is only going to grow.

Well, New Democracy, a pro-bailout party, is claiming victory.

This follows a campaign notable for massive interference in Greek affairs by other Eurozone members, notably Germany.

Greeks have been extensively threatened with nameless but horrible consequences if they should have the timerity to vote against a Eurozone bailout with its attendant austerity and foreign control of their finances.

This is, therefore, a disaster for democracy in Europe. Overt and repeated threats by foreigners have dictated the outcome of a national election.

The election results indicate that the Greek people have rejected the politics of austerity designed to reduce livelihood; and that that they are also determined to cling to the euro and avoid lurching back to a Balkan past.

Where to now? Renegotiating the terms of the loans?

The election has really decided nothing much: a new government with a shaky mandate; fears of financial subjugation taking a political turn; short-term damage limitation; the need for some form of economic growth; ordinary people bear the pain of austerity; those who caused the profligacy and the corruption are not being punished.

Meanwhile the global super-rich continue to get even richer by playing the currency, equities and property markets.

"The 21st century is an Asian century."

The EU's governance is about managing the decline of Europe.

If there is recession/depression in Europe, then global economic growth is happening in Asia

A new wave of brutal cuts will go through exactly as programmed in a month's time