Greece: Who will restore order?
8 May 2012
The elections of May 6 have shaken the Greek political landscape to its core and a majority capable of governing cannot be reached. Yet, notes Kathimerini, the politicians discredited by the electorate and their European partners are supposed to find the path to recovery.
Will the resounding message from Sunday’s elections have an effect? The country does not have much time or room for manoeuvre. Some like to think that the outcome will scare Germany and France into easing their fiscal demands on Greece, and perhaps sending the country some generous aid package.
In other words, they hope that our foreign lenders will realize that Greece’s transformation into a Weimar-type republic is simply a foretaste of what will soon happen in Italy, Spain or even France.
If only things were that simple. Our partners are, of course, more prepared for a Greek “failure,” as it were, or even for a eurozone exit. An easing of fiscal demands will mean more money for Greece – something that would go down well with none of Europe’s parliaments.
Greece's untrustworthy politicians
But there is yet another problem. Our partners’ view of Greek politicians is not that different to our view: they don’t trust them, they think they are unreliable. However, they see little willingness among Greece’s mainstream parties to change, or any new reformist party in the offing. The Greek people have also made clear that they distrust anything to do with EU-IMF memoranda. And, as long as they do not see any other substantial movement for renewal, they will turn to parties of protest such as the one led by Mr Tsipras.
It is obvious that if the Germans do not shift from their position and if there are no convincing solutions in our country, yesterday’s vote will be the harbinger of the drachma. Some say that if the money for wages and pensions is cut, then people will realize what is going on. That may be how things work but it may be a boomerang that angers people even more.
A people maturing
No solution can be imposed from above. The arguments in favour of fighting for the euro have to be set out. It was made clear yesterday that the Athenian political and economic elite speaks a different language from the rest of the country.
We have some difficult days and months ahead. This is what always happens when a rotten system collapses without something replacing it. It is what always happens when a people matures suddenly after a few decades of the easy life. Yesterday, this people turned things upside down. It is now waiting to see if anyone can restore some order.