Behind the Scenes of Greek Elections, Machiavellian Politics and the German Sphinx!
Welcome to Capital Account. Yesterday, we saw a second round of Greek elections in as many months, after those in May resulted in the parties unable to form a viable coalition to govern the country. The results this time around are largely similar, though less fragmented, with the electorate coalescing around what may appear to be a new two-party landscape of New Democracy and Syriza.
Syriza, however, has refused to join any coalition that is seen as pro-bailout, which leaves the door open for a possible coalition among the traditional major parties of PASOK and New Democracy, along with the Democratic Left that could help give the government some amount of legitimacy.
Legitimacy, it seems, is the one thing missing in Greek politics these days, that and a clear mandate from the people on how to deal with the country’s collapsing economy and disintegrating social climate. Greeks remain largely pro-Euro, but anti-bailout. This has been touted as a vote for the bailouts according to a lot of headlines but when you look at the numbers more than 50% voted for anti-bailout parties…
Greeks fear isolation from the rest of Europe, but at the same time, they are not blind to the economic and social collapse taking place around them. Short of a unilateral default or some sort of massive debt write-off, it is not clear how the Greek economy can hope to recover. A default, however, implies a Euro exit, or so is the unofficial word from Brussels and Berlin.
So where does this leave Greece, less than 24 hours after one of the most crucial elections in the country’s history when more than one third of the country’s electorate failed to vote. It seems that the people remain as disillusioned as ever with the direction of the country, and still largely unconvinced that their politicians can be trusted to right the ship…or how they can deliver on rhetoric like this:
And is this democratic disillusionment really unique to Greece, or is it something that is metastasizing across the European continent into countries like Italy and Spain, with the tumor eventually prove too large for the German core and its surplus brethren to remove without risking European wide disintegration?