|The Logo of Syriza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Back in 2011, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a plan to hold a general referendum on the bailout/austerity plan that would define the nation's economy for the next decade. The markets panicked.
The very next day Papandrou dropped the idea of the public having a voice in the decision, and three days later he announced his resignation. Lucas Papademos, a former Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve banker, succeeded Papandreou with an unelected, provisional government, which then proceeded to impose brutal economic austerity.
The markets are in a panic once again, as we once again are faced with the threat of the Greek people having a voice in the direction of their country.
Greece faces snap elections next month that risk severing the international lifeline that has supported the country since it sparked Europe’s sovereign debt crisis in 2010 ... Stocks and bonds plunged in Athens after the government defeat, recalling the height of the Greek financial crisis in 2012, with investors concerned a victory by the opposition Syriza party would jeopardize the terms of Greece’s rescue struck with international creditors. Syriza, which opposes austerity measures imposed in return for the outside aid, leads Samaras’s New Democracy movement in opinion polls.
If the elections were held today the leftist Syriza party would win handily. An Alco poll for Proto Thema released on Saturday put SYRIZA on 28.3%, New Democracy on 25%, Golden Dawn on 5.2%, PASOK on 4.6%, To Potami on 4.4%, the Greek Communist Party on 4.2%, and the Independent Greeks on 3%.
Syriza has promised to stop further layoffs and public service cuts as well as no more selling off public assets.
It's extremely unlikely that any party would command an absolute majority, so a coalition would have to be formed. The election will be held on January 25.
Now you may have heard something about Greece no longer being in a recession, the economy is growing, and unemployment is falling, but for the average Greek it looks like this. This is despite a huge exodus of workers fleeing the country.
Pavlos Haikalis, an actor and member of the small Independent Greeks party, claimed during a phone-in television programme on Friday that he was offered an $850,000 bribe in cash, a loan repayment and advertising contracts - in total $2.5-3.7m.
"I was approached by a man ... who plays an active role in politics," Haikalis said. He did not identify the person, but said he had informed a prosecutor about two weeks ago and had turned over audio and video material.
It was the second such claim from the Independent Greeks. Another of the party's lawmakers claimed last month that someone had approached her with the intention of bribing her.
"The ruling coalition of socialists and conservatives is trying to attract 25 MPs from the opposition to elect a new president," John Psaropoulos, reporting from Athens, said. "It has so far won over just five, and time is running out."
There is nothing more frustrating than a politician that won't stay bribed.
This may be a preview of the Spanish elections of 2015 where Podemos threatens to end the political duopoly of left-center party versus right wing party.