Monday 18 June 2012

The Greek Elections: Aftermath.

As the popular TV series had it: "All of this happened before. All this will happen again".

"Shearing the Rams".
Tom Roberts (1890) [A]

BBC's Paul Mason reporting from Greece:
"If Syriza turns out to be a bubble that deflates, and the crisis is not solved, it is entirely possible that the 'despair vote' - both in the cities and the countryside - will switch to Golden Dawn. The party's activists have already created an urban myth around themselves: they lead old ladies safely to the ATM so that the muggers cannot get them. They evict 'troublesome' migrant tenants, repaint the flat for free and hand the keys to the owner". (See here)
Of course, the eventual rise of Golden Dawn is a price arrogant Greek plutocrats, reckless European bankers, incompetent Eurobureaucrats, Frau Merkel and a sundry fauna of political charlatans, economic experts and international journalists would be willing to pay: all sacrifices are acceptable, aren't they, in order to save a nation from the Red Menace.

Perhaps it's too early to tell, but this could be a bad time to be a migrant in Greece.


Anyway, it's Merkel's turn to move. Will she persist on skinning the Greek sheep alive, or will she accept to only shear it?

Some fiscal respite could give her Greek puppets the opportunity to try and keep the "despair vote" to some hard-to-specify "acceptable" level.

How to tell when that acceptable level was reached? That's a good question. I guess it depends on how loud the Greeks can howl and how sadistically impervious Samaras proves to be to this howling.


European Commission president José Manuel Barroso's attitude at the G20 meeting, however, leaves little room for hope:
"But European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has hit back at those critical of Europe's approach, telling reporters: 'We are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy'." (See here)
Now, I'm sure some readers would like to claim these words are proof of arrogance, stubbornness and stupidity. I'd say, no siree bob. You are mistaken.

These people have handled things extremely well: for over two years they have been solving the crisis, emergency after emergency, summit after summit, bailout after bailout, country after country, austerity package after austerity package. And they will be doing it for the foreseeable future.

They don't need lectures: they know what they are doing.


Which leads me to the last comment.

Will Syriza deflate? Who knows! They seem to be doing what's morally right and politically smart: apparently they won't be taking part in a New Democracy-led coalition, and hopefully they won't be promoting a coalition of their own, in the unlikely event that New Democracy failed to form their own coalition.

Frau Merkel and the Troika want to run Greece? That's what New Democracy and PASOK are for. And they're doing that very well, as Barroso would probably agree.

These people can do that without Syriza. They don't need Syriza's help.

But if a "Syriza bubble" doesn't deflate of its own accord, to answer Mason's question, there will still be many people holding their needles at the ready. Mark my words.

Image Credits:
[A] "Shearing the Rams". Tom Roberts (1890). Wikipedia.

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