Tomorrow in Greece would be held the elections that, many believe, would decide the future of the country. I don’t.
I know that I’m not a political analyst, or a financial one. I’m just a concerned citizen who lived in Greece for 48 years, before I was forced to emigrate in Germany, due to the financial crisis, and the way our governments where handling the matters.
The polls show that the results of the election could be either a victory of the “radical lefts” (they are not so radical) or a duel between “radical left” or as they are known in Greece SYRIZA party and the right conservative New Democracy.
I really don’t care about the result, since most of the people plus the polls doesn’t show that the winning party could form a government without a coalition. The possible coalitions that could form are:
- New Democracy (right conservatives) + PASOK (socialist party) + DIMAR (“mild” lefts) and possible but not sure the new party, which is a mixture of right conservatives and popular right fans, “Independent Greeks”
- SYRIZA (radical lefts) + DIMAR (“mild” lefts)
The Greek Communist Party “KKE” (Stalinists) has announced, since the elections of the 6th of May that they won’t collaborate with anybody.
The first coalition will continue the unsuccessful politics of the previous Greek governments and of course the doomed plans of EU. I say doomed because we can see how good they are just by looking what’s happening now in Spain and Italy, countries that worked better than Greece in implementing the fiscal directives from EU. So if nothing changes in the Greek and EU politics over the situation in Greece, the natural result would be that we Greece would have very soon new elections or a civil unrest. How soon? I can’t predict, I’ve said in the begging that I’m just a citizen who lived nearly half an eon in the country.
The second coalitionis also doomed. The DIMAR party is closer to the first scheme than the second, but still their initial “founders” where part of SYRIZA. If SYRIZA decides to change the rules of the pact that Greece had with New Democracy-PASOK and LAOS then I think that they will lose the support of DIMAR, something that will lead to elections and probably in a civil unrest.
Is there a party or a coalition that could help Greece and most of all its citizens to survive? Today I don’t think so. The time before the elections of the 6th May but also the time between 6th of May and 16th of June, passed with the parties talking about how they will negotiate/renegotiate/or even abolish the memorandum (as it is widely known in Greece the “salvation” treaty between Greece and IMF-ECB-EU). In this “battle” EU but also many media as Germany FT did yesterday, took part by trying to frighten the citizen of what will happen if the communist come in power and Greece exits Euro. Its probably the worst case of intervention in the elections of a sovereign nation, probably worse that the time USA was establishing dictatorships around the world or the USSR was lighting the fuse o rebellions in the same countries.
This intervention had at least two results. One to make the people who suffer for 3 years now angrier and lead them either to SYRIZA or to far left parties like the Nazi “Golden Dawn” and the second was to maintain the conversation in the financial problem and not where it should be, in the structural problem of Greece as a state.
What no one wants to talk in Greece is how we could go really out of the crisis. For most of the parties the crisis is a problem that can be solved only by measures that affects our economy. Until now the parties that where in government (PASOK and New Democracy) did nothing in changing the way that Greece works as a state, or doesn’t work. SYRIZA now is promising, without saying it exactly, that they will try to bring things back as it was before 2009, probably that’s why the Greeks conservative voters, who until 2009 where voting in an majority of 80% the two main parties (the conservative right New Democracy and the conservative “socialists” PASOK), turned to SYRIZA and from a 4-5% party became last elections 17% and now the polls shown its power nearly 30%.
In Greece the problem, always, was not only how big the public sector was but mostly WHO the public sector was. For many western countries the public sector is a mechanism that helps the citizens and support the procedures so that a country can function Internal but also external in every aspect. For Greece public sector is always the party in power. The party in power has just one purpose, to stay in power.
How can this be achieved? By having more voters than the other parties.
So how can we have more voters than the others? Only by hiring more public servants and by “helping” friends of the party to earn more money by giving them contracts with the public sector.
This way, in order to maintain the big public sector (bigger than we need) we use bureaucracy to help us. We need 15-30 days to form an Ltd when in Uganda they need 2 days. We need 2 weeks to open a bank account for a company in National bank of Greece because the law department of the bank needs so much time to search for the company, today when computers rule the world. We can’t pay our debts, even if we wanted it because in every tax office we have different “translations” of the ministry directives and so on. Belgium had no government for nearly one and a half year but the state was working. Greece is in an elections “mood” for nearly 2 months and the tax declarations where postponed, that means also the income for the Greek state, for the end of June so that nobody could connect paying taxes with the parties that where ruling until the 6th of June! So probably Greece is the only country where only death is certain since taxes can be postponed…
There are some parties, mostly the coalition of the two liberal or neo-liberal parties of “Drassi” and “Dimiourgia Xana”, that are trying to say something about this issue, but the controversial leader, of the latter, Thanos Tzimeros, plus some aspects of their financial program or the foreign affairs policy, doesn’t help voters that can think, to vote for them. Their combined percentage from the last elections is not bigger than 5% but I estimate that they would get less in these elections.
Is there a hope for Greece?
I really don’t know. With unemployment rate climbing in 21% with recession deepening in 7% and politicians that care only about their power, the future looks grim at best. There are people that they believe that if we fall out of the Eurozone then we will become cannibals. Perhaps but this is a fear of the people who already have a job, that it is better than the average jobs. Its is the fear of the ones who has something to loose and not the fear of the ones who have seen in 3 years their jobs to vanish, their pensions to cut 40% or the extermination of the social care. The people, who in their 50’s, are without job, with debts for their houses, with no hope and with the health care system nonexistent don’t have anything to loose. For them even the destruction would be a solution. They can see hope in rebuilding the country, even if deep inside them, they don’t believe that something could change.
It would be prudent if EU and especially the government of Germany would have a viable plan, not for Greece but for Eurozone, but still Europe remains a market union and not a political union. I know that my knowledge in Economics is nonexistent, but still I believe that the memorandum between Troika (IMF-EU-ECB) and Greece should be totally different. Which one? I don’t know, I told you I’m not a specialist, but surely this wasn’t the right way. They supported the controversial politics of PASOK who was borrowing money in order to pay our debts to our external creditors and in parallel they stopped paying the internal creditors of the state, they kept supporting the banks that never “recycled” the money that they were given, thus raising the recession and they raised the taxes to the groups that were always paying the taxes since they were employees and they couldn’t hide their income. The failed politicians of PASOK with their controversial policies, during the past 3 years, turned people either to the left or far right. EU stood there just waiting for the interest of their loans and having each time a new country to save.
So the issue is not if there is hope for Greece but if there is hope for Europe, for EU and I don’t have any answers.