Let's talk about Europe

Austerity or chaos

Last Sunday, Greeks came to poll stations to renew the Vouli (the Parliament) in the framework of legislative elections, direct consequence of the Andreas Papandreou socialist government fall, on last October.

The election was held in the context of the crisis in which New Democracy (ND) and PASOK (the Greek socialist party) were severely sanctioned, getting 1/3 of the votes both only.

Conservatives and socialists were disowned by electors because of a more and more unpopular and unbearable[1] austerity policy for a lot of Greeks noticing an aggravation of their daily life. This hopelessness became wrath and radical movements largely enjoyed this situation. This is a heterogeneous group gathering the SYRIA (radical left), ND dissidents, Greek nationalists and Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party who got twenty-one MPs and which his leader is clearly in admiration of Nazi Germany. Their unique common point is to reject any austerity plan in the conditions implemented by the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.

Nikolaos Michaloliakos, Golden Dawn (neo-Nazi party) leader

Greece is very near political chaos after the elections. No party succeeded to form a coalition so far, in particularly New Democracy and his leader, Antonio Samaras, who bet on these elections to satisfy his ambitions and re-launch his political career, in spite of the EU recommendations.

Athens clearly pays with fire even if the Greeks vote of last Sunday must be taken into account as a serious warning. Indeed, the austerity policy currently implemented and imposed by the EU (with the benediction of Germany) clearly found his limits and breaks citizens who can’t support anymore and vote for the extremes finally. Thus, it is needed to re-think the currently led strategy if we want Greek really gets out of the situation, definitely. Nonetheless, this political chaos is not the solution insofar as the country is sinking more and more in the crisis. New elections seem to be inevitable although it can be feared it will not resolve the situation really, except satisfying some personal ambitions.

So, the spectrum of a Greece’s bankruptcy and a withdrawal of the Eurozone is coming back although everybody is aware of the danger. Neither the European Union nor especially Athens has interest such a scenario becomes true. In fact, the key of the problem is neither in Greece, nor in the European Commission but rather in Berlin where the German chancellor seems to be reluctant to question her strategy. The election of François Hollande to the French presidency is, in spite of all, a good opportunity to make a new deal, the future French socialist Head of State considering austerity cannot be a fate and objectives of growth to re-launch the European integration should be reached. The challenge may be harsh but not impossible.

[1] For the French speaking people, I invite you to read an article writen by Elodie Lamer for Le Soir, a Belgian daily. Very deeping and instructive.