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Wed May 2, 2012, 02:35 PM

"Opinion polls show that 75 % of Greeks are in favor of retaining the euro, but 60% are against

the austerity measures that such a course would seem to imply."

In Greece, the far left is becoming the far right

This weekend, France and Greece both go to the polls to determine their future, and possibly the future of the EU.

Today, the mismanagement of the economy by the centre-left (PASOK) and centre-right (New Democracy) parties that have ruled for the last 30 years have once again led to a surge in support for political extremism. The sheer profusion of parties that will probably win seats in the next parliament is bewildering, as are their policies. Only one thing is clear: Extreme parties, whether to the right or left, have much more in common with each other that with the mainstream centre.

The two camps are broadly divided on the issue of the memorandum for dealing with the national debt signed in February between Greece and the Troika of EU, ECB and IMF. This is because opinion polls show that, while over 75 percent of Greeks are in favour of retaining the euro, more than 60 percent are against the austerity measures that such a course would seem to imply.

PASOK and New Democracy, which signed the memorandum, are in favour of honouring it. Most other parties are against the austerity measures that the memorandum demands. The biggest potential impact comes from what appears to be a nascent coalition between the far-left SYRIZA party and the new far-right “Independent Greeks” party. Both call for the abolishing of “illegal” austerity measures imposed by sinister and usurious foreign powers, and for a renegotiation with the troika (the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank) from a position of strength. Absurdly, this “position of strength” appears to be based around a demand from Germany for the payment of WWII reparations. It is a measure of the desperation of the Greek people that any are prepared to believe that this has a realistic chance of working.

The fact that one of these parties purports to be socialist, and the other nationalist, does not seem to be causing great concern. So desperate has the plight of the Greek people become that it is estimated that 5 percent or so may even vote for the neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” party, whose manifesto seems to have but one core element, the expulsion of all legal and illegal immigrants (or at least the non-European ones). And this despite the fact that the mainstream parties have addressed xenophobic sentiment in ways that would scarcely have been believable a few years ago, creating concentration camps for immigrants and vowing to build a wall along the Greco-Turkish border. More and more, the political situation in Greece is beginning to resemble a microcosm of Europe in 1930s. Could this be an early warning sign of things to come throughout the continent?


It is undeniable that the mainstream parties made a mess out of Greece's economy over the past 30 years. That said, the austerity measure insisted on by the EU and others is counterproductive to say the least. If I am going to rescue a neighbor who has gotten himself into a mess, I may insist that he clean up his act - for his own sake as much as for mine - but to drive him into bankruptcy does no one any favors.

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Reply "Opinion polls show that 75 % of Greeks are in favor of retaining the euro, but 60% are against (Original post)
pampango May 2012 OP
PoliticAverse May 2012 #1

Response to pampango (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 02:48 PM

1. Of course most people want to retain the Euro. When will most people favor taxes necessary...

to maintain the level of their government's expenditures ?

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