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The new Greek government
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-06-22 10:29:40
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Checking the names of the new Greek government I realized that this government will have the shortest period of grace in the Greek history perhaps the European history. And the feeling was very strong since while checking the names and their short bio I was looking for the faults and the mistakes instead of the positive elements. And that long before these very people swear to their new positions and check their offices.

The truth is that the new Greek prime minister, Mr. Antonis Samaras has very little chance to miss criticism from his very first moments (literally first moments) in government and the quietness in the streets of Athens at the moment is just the warning before the coming storm. But before we get to there let’s see what happened in Europe and the rest of the globe after the deep sigh all of them took with the election of a Greek government that supports the measures, wants to stay in euro-zone and somehow is ready to work with the contemporary Merkel-leading European status quo.

Absolutely nothing, that’s what happened. And in this case no news was no good news at all. No sudden fireworks in the German, the British or the Belgian stock-market; no ratings climbing and no strengthen euro. On the contrary, the stock-markets continued in straight line, European states lost more ratings and euro missed some more clicks to the dollar. The European leadership enjoying the Mexican sun let some smiles to show but strong warnings followed that if Greece doesn’t continue with the measures nothing good will come and the banks with the rating agencies continued to talk about the Greek euro-exit.

In the meantime the medicines shortage in Greece has become so serious that hospitals and doctors warn UN for a humanitarian catastrophe and the numbers of people in the streets of the Greek cities looking for food overwhelms. The numbers of unemployed, the official numbers, haven’t stop growing and the numbers of privateers heading for bankruptcy depressing. The same time the Spanish bonds have hit record interests and the Italians started talking about the return to lira. So the doomsday didn’t come but neither salvation came. Actually absolutely nothing has change except the global patience with the European inability to deal with the euro-crisis with serious political interventions. Oddly it's not only Samaras who’s lacking the period of grace, after the Greek result the European leadership started losing the value of their excuses and they have to do something …yesterday.

Another problem is that the built up in Europe for the result of the Greek elections and all the doomsday scenarios with the election of a euro-friendly government might work as an edged knife. It was easy to blame the weak anyway Greek economy – something everybody knew far before Greece joined the euro-zone – but who are they going to blame now? The Portuguese economy, the Spanish or the Italian? And how long this will last until they realize that the crisis is in the fundamentals of the euro-zone and not in a separate state. Greece just like Spain this moment tumbles in the steep of the no growth and they all know that without any growth plan the austerity measures are damned to fail. You cannot tax anymore citizens of a state in negative growth; that’s simple economics and Greece is in negative growth for three years now and it will continue be there under the measures for another five at least. Continuing this policy the only thing they manage to do is drain any resources and nearly impossible the comeback. And that is something at least Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the euro-group, is obliged to know. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker’s role in the euro-group is not only to enforce the rules but help the euro-zone’s growth.

Coming to the new Greek government now. Mr. Samaras, the leader of the conservative New Democracy party, formed a government in coalition with the trembling and disputed socialist party PASOK and the centre-left Democratic-Left party, a newly formed party consisted by the conservative and repentant former traditional left as an excuse for an ecumenical government that covers all the sides of the Greek political spectrum. But here I’m going to say exactly the same thing I said two years ago when Mr. Papandreou was forming his government with the known results. I actually believe that Mr. Samaras has the best intentions and the will to change things and really bring Greece out of the swamp that swallows her. I believe that he is a patriot with strong empathy for his suffering compatriots. But he’s not going to be alone, for this gigantic work he needs companions. And where is he going to find his companions? He found them in the bucket of the political spectrum the very same that led Greece to this situation. Ministers by profession who never worked in their life, spending their time between governmental seats and opposition or daughters and sons of politicians who inherited their parents’ electoral clientele. Actually the majority of those ministers have served with one or another leader the last few years that led Greece to this desperate situation.

I have nothing against Mrs. Olga Kefalogianni, the new Greek Minister of Tourism and perhaps she’s a brilliant person. But I will never have the chance to know because whatever she will do she will always shadowed by her father’s name. A traditional conservative Greek politician, former minister and discernible member of all the conservative governments in the past who was forced to resign from his long political career in disgrace accused for perjury in a case about police corruption that left a lot of shadows about his involvement. In my dictionary this called nepotism and Mr. Samaras recognizing that nepotism is a lethal part of the Greek political life has promised to fight it. Then there is another minister who has been accused and convicted for a stock-market scandal and don’t worry their socialists partners have their dark members, with one belonging to the inner cycle of the former prime minister Mr. Simitis who according the accusations cheated the euro-group giving false information about the Greek economy when Greece entered the euro-zone. The majority of the rest were ministers with the government that brought the country one step before the bankruptcy and Mr. Papandreou’s brilliant handling that led the country to the open arms of IMF.

And that’s just hours after the new government sworn in.  Oddly but I start wandering if the real winner has been the SIRIZA, the leftish anti-austerity party and boogeyman of the Greek elections and the European leaders. They warned the people and now they just have to sit quiet and wait for the anger to build up again. In the meantime the number of unemployed keeps rising and the humanitarian crisis deepens and that while Brussels still thinking what will happen if they …breathe!

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Eva2012-06-22 12:58:45
I'm wondering if there was any logic behind the IMF and EU panic to push the Greeks to vote for the same people yet again?

Was the logic that Greece has finally been "tamed and leashed" by the eurocrats, so therefore it was a good thing that the same politicians got elected? Better the devil you know?

I thought the general consensus in Europe not too long ago was that Greece needed a change, and a BIG change, in order to shape up and change the way politics are done in Greece.

Yet leading up to the second round of the Greek elections all EU leaders seemed terrified at the prospect of Syriza offering any kind of change.

Sigh. Politics.

I really hope somebody, anybody, has a viable growth plan for Greece soon.

Leah Sellers2012-06-23 01:36:21
Dear Brother Thanos and Ms. Eva,
I concur with all of your thoughts and speculations.
Yes, this was all an exercise in futility. Futility is one of the many weapons of Fear Mongering deliberately being stirred up and used throughout the Globe.
These are age old tactics and strategies.
What All Citizens Need and Want are Leaders who will truly understand that We Need to Create - Distributive and Mission oriented Governments and Cultures, not Narcissistic Dominating, Predatory and Imperialistic Governments and Cultures.
The Mega-Banks and their lackey Wheeler-Dealer Speculators, the Mega Corporations and Elitists are in the Shadows for the most part. They are the Puppet Masters and Mistresses.
Everything occurring within the Western Civilization Nations in particular, continues to bear this out, and put Them more and more into the Light (for those Willing and Aware enough to ferret it out).
The Thieves in Suits who created and machinated this Global Economic Mess are now asking the People/Sheeple they stole from to pay out and sacrifice even more. To bow and scrape to Austerity, and try to make it appear Noble to do so.
The Robber Barons and Baronesses came into all of Our Houses with all of their Speculating shell Games and Bubbles, and robbed us blind. None of them have been made Accountable or have spent time in jail (as an average Citizen would and does). Now, We are running to them for help. Their Help is to steal more from Our picked-pockets and our Lives, and to impoverish and and ensleve us to them even more.
It is Insanity, and yet All of Us are continuing to participate in The Game, because WE, the Sheeple, are more afraid of Change, and the hard work inherent within creating and building Change - new Social Structures, which are truly and Responsibly Just, Fair and Liberating at All levels, for Everyone - not just a Few Dominating and Predatory Few.

Emanuel Paparella2012-06-23 09:22:39
Europa quo vadis? Europa nosce te ipsum? The first question is related to the second and what we are left with is cynicism and nihilism and the conspiracy of hope of a return to the original vision of the EU founding fathers. Which will be chosen? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

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