Monday, 18 June 2012
Phew, that was close! Greece and Europe are safe, for the moment
The conservative party Nea Dimokratia (“New Democracy”) under its leader Antonis Samaras has gained a thin majority of the votes at yesterday’s parliamentary elections, just slightly ahead of the Communist Syriza Party under its populist leader Alexis Tsipras. However, with a possible coalition with the Socialist Pasok Party and its leader Evangelos Venizelos, it would be enough for a “Pro Euro” government and Athens, which will continue the austerity course of its predecessor government.
Now, this potential new government has to be settled up. But at least it was a signal to Europe that the Greeks became aware of the imminent disaster that would come over their country and all over Europe, if the “Anti-European movement” had won the elections. However, the pressure is now on this potential new government and the Greek people as a whole.
In the past few weeks, the Greeks have become aware of the potential nightmare they would have caused, if the results would have looked slightly different. The fear factor has worked this time, and the Greeks finally became aware of their massive responsibility not only for their own country, but for all of Europe.
Still, it is too early to predict if the election results will really lead to a long-term consolidation. Although the international markets are responding in a positive way and the election results will possibly lead to a relief for the other countries in crisis, especially for Spain, it is even more likely that the continuation of the austerity policy – even with the new government – might worsen the Greek economy even more, with already known effects for the other crisis candidates and for Europe.
Greece is neither able to consolidate itself, nor is it able to be consolidated by others – a fact that is being mostly ignored by Berlin and by Brussels. Both, Brussels and Berlin will show themselves satisfied that in the end the election result was “the right one”, specifically Angela Merkel will see yesterday’s result as a sign that her strict austerity strategy for Greece is the sole and right one for Greece. Also, Greece will need functioning state organization on all level, specifically on the fiscal one as this is the source of all Greek misery.
On Friday 22nd, Greece will face Germany in the Euro-Cup quarter-finals. It will not only be a match for semi-finals, but also a match of the major Euro-crisis actors. Will the Greeks retaliate upon Germany for a prolonged humiliation, or will Germany prevail once more against the Greeks? Assuming that the Greeks achieve a sensation one more time and win the championship like back in 2004, it will possibly be the last party for them.
The crisis, however, is not over yet. It’s just having a short rest, and it will come back with great vengeance and furious anger.