Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Elections in Greece: A risky maneuver – Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Elections in Greece: A risky maneuver – Neue Zürcher Zeitung

In Greece, the President has only representative functions. But in almost any other country, the political consequences are so serious if the candidate does not achieve the necessary majority for the highest office in the Parliament. According to the Greek Constitution, it must be ordered again within a few weeks the legislature. The opposition saw her come an hour. For them, the election of the president was a no-confidence vote against the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and their austerity and reform policy. Greece, whose economic and political reconstruction is far from complete, so that slithers back into a period of uncertainty at the end not only a change of power, but also – as is widely feared -. A fundamental change of course could have far-reaching consequences

But still, the head of the Left Alliance SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, did not win the elections. Even if he should receive the most votes, he probably needs a coalition partner. Even after the parliamentary elections of May 2012, the parties could not agree on a new cabinet. Then the political disintegration took threatening forms, and new elections were the only way out. They held six weeks later. The two parties, New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) who alternately and often ruled the country since the end of military rule in 1974 in autocratic manner alone, were still a grand coalition. They were forced to work together. It was an unusual step, because this forced marriage meant the end of the era of Einparteiregierungen.

The fact that the Greeks are tired of saving and of the harsh conditions imposed by the troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, is understandable. Those who live in richer countries of Western Europe in secure and orderly conditions can only imagine what it means when his income is shrinking within a few years by a third barely. But even if Tsipras should be the next Prime Minister of Greece, so does that not mean that everything that has been achieved in recent years, is undone. Tsipras matter how much startled with some of his slogans western partners – he would rely on financial aid, he could not just throw money around. In addition to that Samaras had once fought against the austerity measures prescribed by the foreign donors violently. But he took a U-turn, because he wanted to become Prime Minister. This goal, which he reached after the elections of 2012, he subordinated everything.


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