Monday, January 26, 2015

Hope wins in Greece

Greeks went to the polls today in snap elections, and threw out their pro-austerity Quisling government in favour of SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left. The Greek - and German - establishment warned them that it would be the end of the world if this happened. Clearly, Greeks think the world has already ended, and that after seven years of austerity, 25% unemployment and a 30% cut in living standards (while the rich cheat on their taxes and sail around in private yachts), it can't get any worse. And given a choice between hope for change and more of the same, they've chosen hope.

On current projections, SYRIZA has just fallen short of an absolute majority, so it will need coalition partners to govern. But the Quislings have been definitively ousted, and there will be a definite change in direction away from pointless, vicious austerity in the name of debts that can never be repaid.

The question now is whether Germany and the European Central Bank will accept this outcome, or try and overturn the democratic decision of the Greek people so bankers can get their vig. And the fact that we can even ask this question tells us that there is something deeply wrong with European politics.