Sunday, June 17, 2012

Greece according to Greeks!

Update June 17, 4:25 PM EST: The results are in and the winner is projected to be New Democracy at 29.5% of the vote, Syriza 27.1% and PASOK 12.3%.

Father's Day will be celebrated today in the U.S. but in Greece it is election day!

For the global economy these elections in Greece represent something of a watershed event that very well could determine, at least for the near-term, the direction that the economies of the EU, the U.S. the U.K. and the rest of the world will be heading in.

While victory by the New Democracy party will likely mean that Greece will opt to at least pay lip service to the fact that they will abide by prescribed austerity measures and thus remain in the EU, that is by no means a victory to be wildly celebrated as Greece is moving quickly in the direction of becoming an economic lost cause.

Victory by Syriza, on-the-other-hand, would likely have swift and negative repercussions for the country and the rest of the world.

Not exactly a situation with win-win characteristics by any means, but as the media around the globe intently focus on the ramifications of the election tomorrow, what does the election and current conditions in Greece mean to the average Greek citizen?

This is an excerpt from an article written by Greek columnist Nikos Konstandaras in the Guardian that addresses the mindset of the Greek people:

"...The world may be watching Sunday's elections in Greece with fascination and awe, as one would approach the scene of an accident before the rescue workers arrive, understanding that the vote could push Greece out of the euro and trigger a series of unforeseen consequences for the eurozone and the global economy.

For we Greeks, though, this is a purely domestic affair. The pressures of meeting our creditors' demands for austerity and reform in exchange for life-supporting loans are straining society to breaking point. The vote will stand as a memorial to the breakdown of our political system, so we have too much on our plates to be overly concerned with how others see us.

We are voting because our political parties could not find the courage to work together in the face of a dire national crisis after the inconclusive 6 May election. Then, they could not even agree on the terms of a televised debate. Now, before Sunday's vote, these masters of diplomacy and compromise who cannot talk to each other all promise to renegotiate successfully the terms of our bailout deal with increasingly frustrated partners in the EU and the IMF..."

Read the rest of the article here.

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