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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anti-Austerity in Greek Government

The Socialists and then the New Democracy Party told Greeks that sacrifices were necessary to avert default on the state’s debt. This position came at a high political cost on May 6, 2012, when both parties lost seats in the state’s legislative election. “The established parties collapsed — they had too much pressure from Berlin and Brussels and the I.M.F.,” said Nikos Xydakis, an newspaper editor and a political commentator, referring to Greece’s foreign lenders. In other words, the leaders of the two mainstream Greek parties sold out their compatriots, having caved in to ultimatums from Merkel operating at the E.U. level. “In a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias, the leader of the leftist party, Alexis Tsipras, ridiculed the leaders of the two main parties whose coalition lost its majority in the parliamentary elections.” Tsipras added that his party would not be forming a government with either party. The New Democracy Party had been unable to form a government in the wake of the election, so it was then Tsipras’ turn to try.

                           Alexis Tsipras  and Greek President Papoulias   NYT/Kostas Tsironis
The full essay is in Essays on the E.U. Political Economy, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.