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FACTDROP: Greece: ‘The Day After”


Greece: ‘The Day After”

It was as early as that the exit polls were disclosed that the two biggest parties (PASOK and ND) decided to make a common communiqué stating that there will be no new elections in the near future suggesting “safely” that the outcome would permit a new government formed by the “duo” as a basis with the support of some other party though finally more than one-third of ministers from the interim government didn’t secure seats in parliament. But despite the distorting electoral law that grants the first party with a 50 seats bonus this proved to be impossible and if normality shall prevail a new round of elections should be on the cards soon.

The two main losers, namely those that have ruled the country for 37 years and brought it to the brink are acting still like legitimate representatives of the “nation’s will” hoping – in vain – that a broader coalition could be formed to save the country from the present ‘anarchy” permitting them to survive, Since 2009, in Greece were implemented unprecedented austerity measures first by PASOK that enjoyed a great majority but on the false promises and assumptions that Mr. Papandreou made in his pre-election campaign to “find out” that there are not money and that Greece is bankrupted.

So these are the first elections with people informed about the truth of Greece’s economic tragedy and here we are: Even banks are making statements about how grave will be the situation if Greece will not implement it’s obligations and finally gets out of the Euro zone following the study published by UBs on last September which estimated that the cost for Greece living the eurozone would be 50% of the GDP or around EUR9,500 to EUR11,500 per person in the exiting country during the first year. That cost would then probably amount to EUR3,000 to EUR4,000 per person per year over subsequent years. Nevertheless. many Greeks seem unfazed by the crisis created by the election as the conservative daily Kathimerini wrote in an editorial: “Greeks have lived through more than two years of constant fear and threats about what may be around the corner. It may be that they're immune to it now”.

Unemployment is soaring in new heights reaching 42% in February and the collapse of industrial production is evident: January-5%, February -8.3%, and now March -8.5%. Meanwhile, some bookies suspended betting that Greece will leave the euro by the end of the year stating that “With Greece in particular, and a number of other Euro countries, apparently in political turmoil and an unknown quantity taking over in France the long term future of the Euro hardly looks secure.” and Miss Papariga president of the mainstream left-wing KKE party that remains “stable” to the ideals which adapted some 50 years ago, stated that she is hoping that the voters will “correct” their votes in the forthcoming elections meaning that KKE will get out of the present dump. From the other side there was a big surprise with the prominence of the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party which took a 7% of the votes and its leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos that marched down the street on Sunday flanked by muscular men with shaved heads and tight t-shirts, and yelling "liars!" at the foreign journalists following him. But what do you expect after decades of complete lack of any policy on the hot issue of immigration in a small country that happened to be at the border of the EU and forced to accept millions of immigrants?

Furthermore, Germany that accepted Greece’s entrance into the eurozone – even without satisfying the “Maastricht’s criteria” – is now threatening Greece with an indirect expulsion from the eurozone saying that there will be no more money if there will be a new government that fundamentally opposes the bailout’s terms. Most of it is due to the fact that Germany is trying to avoid the break up of the euro mainly because if it happens its currency will rise against all the EU countries, as against the Dollar and the Yen. In this attempt, Germany is backing the two parties scheme in Greece even leaving open options for few small compromises that could be enough to give those politicians a scrap of political cover. So the fact is that the big losers of the first elections were wished to become a winning coalition at the next, and consequently those who managed to avoid any legal punishment through a possible “debt audit”under the shield of Greece’s creditors should be essential ingredients of the new government and the people should vote the same politicians that everybody is blaming for the creation of the present grave situation.

While the downturn of Greece’s GDP for the first three months of the year is -6,2% which is the lowest point for the last 7 years and more than 10,000 businesses have been closed at the same period – those who closed are more from those which opened for the first time – and the entrepreneurs warned the party leaders that they are going to stop the payments to their employees, a new gallup-poll for “Epikera” magazine estimates the outcome of the forthcoming elections as follows: Siriza 20,3%, ND 14,2%, PASOK 10,9%, DIMAR 6,1%, Communist Party of Greece 4,4%, Independent Greeks 3,7%, Golden Dawn 2,2%.

 According to Reuters German and French bonds are grabbed on “Greek fears” followed by Asian shares while investors scared by Greek crisis seek safe havens and ECB president Mario Draghi said on Wednesday that the European Central Bank wants Greece to remain in the euro zone while the decision for Greece's possible exit from the currency union isn't an issue that the ECB would need to decide on.
But this is not all as panic for the future push Greeks to pull-out their euros from Greek banks - an average of €700 million each day and sent their euros elsewhere for safekeeping - that is possible to face insolvency triggering default and exit from the euro according to the Washington Post, which is before 2013 as many policy-makers hoped for, when the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) should provide the institutional framework and legal basis for a planned state insolvency.

And all this while suicides jumped by more than 22 percent during the 2009-2011 period or 1,727 people in the country committed suicide during that two-year period. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday that Greece's new elections are a vote on the country's future in Europe and the euro stating that "If we want to fight the debt crisis, then we need to build confidence and confidence comes only through competitiveness and reforms that lead to more growth and jobs".

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