Thursday, February 26, 2015

Greeks baring guff

Ekathimerini says that Syriza lost its gamble...big time;
Greece has diluted at least five of its key electoral promises in the face of implacable German-led opposition to its stance. There's been no extension of the country's debt repayment timetable; Greece is still a ward of the troika, even if its guardians now go by a different name (they're now referred to as the [institutions]); there's no rollback of the previous government's economic reforms; cash allocated to the domestic banking system won't be diverted to alleviating economic hardship; and the need to achieve a sensible budget surplus has been acknowledged.
Who won?
Those concessions might prove to be a tough sell for Syriza at home given its election strategy. But they're very helpful if, for example, you're Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and you face an election by the end of the year. Rajoy's People's Party has about 30 percent of voter support in the most recent opinion polls, with the anti-austerity Podemos part on 26 percent; other recent polls have shown Podemos in the lead.
So the Spanish government can say, Podemos is Syriza, and look what happened to them. Also;
If Greece had been able to wring concessions from its euro peers, opposition parties in other countries -- Portugal also has elections this year, Ireland goes to the ballot box next year, while Italy's coalitions are notoriously unstable -- might have used them as evidence that abandoning austerity is an acceptable economic strategy within the euro region. Instead, Germany has underscored to voters across the continent -- again, rightly or wrongly -- that the euro zone won't accommodate all economic points of view.
Germany; the Master Race after all.

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