German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Greece on EU business. A bold visit when you consider that many Greeks hold her in some ways responsible for their current economic woes. It is not so much a belief that she created Greece's financial chaos but that she has been pulling the strings of those negotiating bail outs to the troubled country. This means that those who are at the sharp end of EU austerity measures hold her to blame.
Of course it is true that she has to protect the interests of her own people. Each leader should be doing that. Some compassion is needed in such dire times though. Already we have heard many comparing the financial bail out Germany received after the Second World War to current bail outs. They of course did not have to pay money back. Yet the war it has to be said was created by Germany.
Times have moved on but of course the older generation will remember Germany during its darkest days. oIld wounds do not always heal.
Expecting protests on the streets of Athens today police were out in force. 7,000 police officers, secret agents, snipers and commandos have been deployed in the Capital. Surprising perhaps when you consider public sector worker job cuts. They are after all public servants also. Perhaps the Greek administration erred on the side of caution maintaining high numbers of police officers for when times get tough. They may be tough now but could get so much tougher.
Merkel landed this morning in Athens. Already a Swastika flag has been burned by protesters. Some you see believe that having been unable to dominate Europe by force in the past, modern Germany wants to dominate by the economic route.
Around 25,000 protesters gathered in Syntagma Square. Stcks and stones were thrown although initially the violence had only involved a minority of protesters. In the last few minutes police have fired teargas at protesters. Things are beginning to take a turn for the worse.
Teargas is the order of the day in Europe and beyond it seems. In Paris a jobs protest outside of an Auto show resulted in police firing tear gas canisters into the crowd.
There will be protests throughout today in Greece. The leader of the main opposition party Syriza has called upon Greeks to get on the streets to show Merkel the real Greece.
Late yesterday protest gathering was banned by the Greek authorities. The people have opted to ignore this ban. It is laughable when you consider the West's opinion of Russia if it tries to curb protests. As usual we play the Hypocritical card and hope people have short memories.
Apart from Merkel and the eyes of the World witnessing Nazi flag burning, plus some in the crowd wearing nazi uniforms, banners were carried stating, "Merkel out, Greece is not your colony" and "This is not a European Union, it's slavery".
And that dear readers is the truth of the matter. The elite cause the mess and carry on regardless. Those less able to pick themselves up and start again suffer. Those who worked hard to make a lfve for themselves lose everything and no-one cares. Those who run banking systems, stock exchanges and governmnet pull the strings but care nothing for the man, woman or child on the street.
Merkel is in Greece to offer support to the Greek administration given the task of formulating a workable austerity package for the country. She will not care about those who are bleeding. She wants to make sure that the cuts go deep enough. She also has a vested interest in ensuring that Greece stays in the EU. The German people have money committed to this venture.
Merkel is the first German leader to visit Greece in decades. The media may class her visit as symbolic but the Greek people may see it as a red rag to a bull. A person rubbing salt into raw wounds.
Late Monday protest gathering on Greece was banned. Most people have chosen to ignore that. It is laughable when you consider the West's stance when Russia for example tries to curb its protesters. Yet once more the West is playing the hypocritical card and hoping that we all have short memories.
Updates will follow......
Greece went to the polls last weekend for the second time in six weeks. This time however the New Democracy Party won a majority and its leader quickly began trying to forge a coalition government.
The New Democracy majority may have been small but with willing political partners it is expected to be enough to form a workable government. Today June 20, 2012, Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy party, will be sworn in as prime minister. At time of writing the Greek coalition talks were ongoing but reportedly close to a finalised deal.
The people of Greece need a government but whether a coalition can bring stability to Greece is not known. Their debt crisis continues and too many people in Greece are suffering. As they struggle on in poverty tax dodgers and system abusers in the country prosper. These two issues will need urgently addressing by the new government.
The Markets around the world are still faltering as Greece forms its new parliament. There was no huge surge in the markets on the back of the Greek election, as the situation remains unstable. Angela Merkel the German Chancellor and leading light in Europe right now, has made it plain that the Greek bailout will not be renegotiated.
Yesterday President Obama speaking, as the G20 summit in Mexico drew to a close, said that Europe knows what it has to do. The talk is of leaders having to make tough choices and decisions. Of course those tough choices rarely affect those who make the decisions. It is easy to play politics when it is someone else who will experience a massive drop in income, or the loss of a home, for example.
President Obama should also publicly acknowledge that Europe's financial woes stem in so many ways from the USA.
Samaras is meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias prior to being sworn in as Prime Minster. Updates will follow....
Latest: Samaras has been sworn in as PM. "The ceremony came shortly after he agreed a coalition government with the Socialists (Pasok) and the smaller leftist party, the Democratic Left. Mr Samaras took the oath at a Greek Orthodox ceremony in Athens."
The second Greek Election in just six weeks is over. In reality though it is far from over. The winner by a majority was the New Democracy Party with 29.7% of the vote. It secured 129/300 seats. Hardly a resounding vote of confidence from the people. Enough however to form a government if they can find a political party willing to do business with them.
The Greek Parliament and the people now face many challenges. First and foremost of course is forming a government and quick. Political vacuums are bad news. They can lead to military coups and revolutions.
Who the NDP choose or rather who is prepared to play ball could also impact on the Greek people. Second place in the election was won by the Syriza Party who took 26.9% of the vote and secured 71/300 seats. Such a close run race means that plenty of people will be happy with a New Democracy coalition, but many will not.
The New Democracy is a right wing party. If it works with the Pasok socialist party to form a coalition it may not work. However both of these parties are pro the EU bailout. In times like these political allies may come from opposing ideals. What is being seen as the most important factor is who is pro and who is anti the bailout.
Syriza is anti bailout. This party will be hard to ignore in any new parliament. With such a large number of seats and votes it will have a voice in government. This could mean that it will have power to wield.
Merkel in Germany and Obama in the US are happy that the New Democracy Party has won the majority. They of course do not have to live in Greece under the austerity measures previously agreed. It is fair to say that all Europeans leaders will be happy with the initial outcome of the Greek Elections. The money men and women who manipulate our lives have already expressed their pleasure. How so? By boosting the stock markets.
There is however still a long way to go.
All Antonis Samaras won in effect was the right to be first to hold coalition talks. If the Pasok Party teams up with Samaras it will be a similar situation to the UK. That is a coalition made up of the first and third place in the people's vote. Hardly the people's choice.
Both the Pasok and the New Democracy Party have governed Greece for many years. Both are therefore blamed by many for the economic crisis Greece is facing. Syriza being a fresh new party has said that it will not join forces with others to form a coalition.
No such moral stand point by the old guard.
Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has already come up with a novel suggestion. He has proposed politicians forget the usual procedure and go for a four-party coalition between New Democracy, Syriza, PASOK and Democratic Left.
It is worth noting that anti bailout political parties saw their share of the second vote in Greece increase from six-weeks ago. The Neo Nazi Party Golden Dawn had its share of the vote reduced compared to the earlier election.
Europe may have breathed a sigh of relief but now it is holding its breath as it waits to see if forming a Greek government is possible. Germany has already warned Greece that the bailout is not open for re-negotiation.
In May 2012 the Greek people went to the polls. The national election was not due until 2013 but the resignation of former leader George Papandreou meant an early election was necessary. The post of leader was filled temporarily by a technocrat, Mr Lucas Papademos, and he led an interim government,The Greek people have endured a terrible few years and it looks like it will get worse, before if ever it gets better. In May the people failed to return a majority government. The main players were unable to form a coalition government and so a further election was scheduled for June 2012.
This weekend the people will vote once more. Has enough changed to return a majority government this time?It will be a hard one to call. The Greek people could choose to elect and support a pro-bailout government or an anti-austerity one.
It is not a straight forward choice however between the right and the left of politics. The Greek political front runners include communists, the extreme right, socialists, neo nazis and conservatives.If the vote is split again it will be hard for any party to win through. However
since the failed election in May the political front runners have been campaigning hard. Up until the death each party has been trying to win over voters and make that one last push.Currently many are predicting a win for the liberal conservatives, the New Democracy Party. However some see these politicians at the heart of Greek woes. As the party in office during the economic crisis the New Democracy Party failed to resolve the situation. When it comes to it though will the majority of Greeks see them as the only sensible way forward?Behind the scenes preparations are underway for an EU exit by Greece, if it is deemed necessary. To the cameras people maintain that Greece will not leave the
Eurozone and no EU countries want them to leave. Whether that is what is said behind closed doors is doubtfulShould Greec
e leave the EU it will be a protracted affair. It will not be easy for any country in Europe and possibly beyond. The economic fall-out will reach far and wide, but what of if they stay? How much longer can the Eurozone farce continue? One that demands the people suffer whilst the banking sector continues to crumble. One that increases unemployment to disastrous levels? Related reading regarding the USA and their involvement with the EU crisis since 2008 hereTags: Greek election 2012, EU crisis, Greek New Democracy party, second election in Greece, Eurozone exit, Greek politics, Greece
Not so long ago it was unthinkable that Greece could leave the Eurozone. Now it seems a distinct possibility. Today IMF chief Christine Legarde has finally voiced the big IF Greece leaves the EU.Whilst Legarde has continued to maintain that Greece will stay in the EU she has had to recognise that is by no means a certainty.
The Greek election gave no political party a clear mandate to rule and successive parties have found it impossible to form a coalition. It now appears that Greeks will go to the polls once more. Perhaps now the gravity of the situation is plain for all to see a higher turnout will follow.That said, it may not. So many Greeks obviously feel dispirited with the current political parties of Greece. Even more will be totally disillusioned about the EU and their country's membership.
Waiting in the wings of course is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Like an adept puppeteer she pulls the strings as around her European leaders fall and economies crumble.Christine Legarde, head of the IMF, today, May 15, 2012, has said that the Eurozone, IMF and Europe must make preparations for if Greece leaves the EU. If they do other countries are sure to follow.
As the latest talks to try and form a coalition government fail it has been announced that a new election will be held in June. More expense for the troubled Greek people. Instantly the Greek stock exchange took a tumble. European markets nose dived and the economy has flatlined in response. A caretaker government will now hold the reins of Greek government until
the expected election in June 2012. Greece
is not alone as a country in crisis.Tags:Greek election, Greek coalition, IMF, Christine Legarde, Greece may leave EU, Eurozone
After both France
going to the polls last weekend the formation of a Greek Government looks impossible. Greek voters bruised and battered from a tumultuous year of cuts and austerity had little stomach for more of the same. This however has left all parties with no clear majority to rule. It could make for strange political bedfellows and some will simply not want to join forces with those they view as the enemy.
One clear message that the Greek electorate sent to their politicians was that they do not want the current coalition to stay in office. The Coalition was hit hard at the polls which must also mean that the Greek people are sick of the EU and its shenanigans.
This morning May 7, 2012, Sky News
summed up the results as, "The Socialist Pasok party and the conservatives of New Democracy (ND) secured just 32.4% between them, down from 77.4% in 2009, according to interior ministry figures based on 95% of the vote. The figures leave the two parties unable to form a coalition on their own and makes it extremely difficult for them to implement the public spending cuts agreed in return for bailouts from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. More than 50 percent of Greeks cast votes for parties opposing the public spending cuts"
With so few votes left to count deals will have to be made. Greece could easily return to the left or far left which will mean an end to Europe's plans for Greece. An exit from the EU is also still a possibility. Some will see this as the Greeks taking the fat of the EU without being held accountable. It was however their leaders who took them down the path to debt. Greeks may have enjoyed some of the fruits of this but how many would have truly realised the implications?
Many Greeks have suffered terribly at the hands of the EU imposed austerity measures. Poverty and unemployment are high which has also fuelled a rise in neo nazis some sections of Greece. The extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party is set to have some seats in Parliament for the first time. Whilst sometimes a coalition offers the people the best of both worlds it can also soon become ineffective. Too many cooks spoil the broth after all.
The incumbent government of Greece had promised more austerity measures to be implemented in June. This was to secure a further bail-out. Now iot could be that all bets are of and it is back to square one. The Greek election may be over but forming a government could take some time or even prove to be impossible.
The markets have typically responded. As the markets opened Greek stocks are falling dramatically following the reported anti-austerity vote by the people of Greece. As usual they "hit a man whilst he is down" Markets falls will add to the woes of Greeks but will also prove that time is short. One way or another a government will have to be formed.
Tags: Greek election, Geece, Coalition, EU, austerity
Election fever seems to have hit the World in 2012. Countries such as Canada, The USA
all have important national elections up and coming. This week the UK held local elections and the voters who bothered to turn out sent a resounding message to the Government that the people are not happy.
Those countries who are experiencing economic doom and gloom are tending to move away from the old leaders, blaming them for their country's economic woes. This is hardly surprising. However in some countries those in power inherited a shambles and have done little to resolve the core issues.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy cannot blame his predecessors though. France has not elected a Socialist President for 30 years. Now it could be on the brink of doing so.
The first round of the election left Nicolas Sarkozy, for the right, battling it out with Francois Hollande, for the left. Tomorrow, Sunday May 6, 2012, the French people will end this election campaign. People who preferred one of the other political parties will have choose between more of the same from Sarkozy or a new approach from Francois Hollande.
Already some multi millionaires are saying that Hollande as President would result in them leaving France. This is because it is widely expected that Hollande will increase taxes for the uber wealthy to fund a planned period of growth. How they must love France. The talk is only of hitting the upper echelons of their wealth but already they are in panic mode. So often such people preach low taxes and the like to encourage jobs but they have no stomach for improvement when it may hit their bank balances.
Across Europe other leaders are waiting on the result of the French election. Greece too may opt for change this weekend, but that could be to leave the EU. Leaders such as Merkel in Germany and Cameron plus Osborne in the UK know that hard fought financial agreements could become worthless as quick as flash.
One way or another Europe
is once more in for a very testing time.
Tags: European elections, French election, Greek election, Hollande, Sarkozy
Greece is facing a general election this coming weekend. The Greek people have been pushed from pillar to post this year and with more austerity measures on the cards who will they elect to power? Many Greeks will feel a distinct distrust of all their politicians but someone will have to rule the country. Without a democratically elected government they are at the mercy of technocrats and the EU.
The social democratic Pasok and the conservative New Democracy (ND) have traditionally been the main political parties of Greece since 1975. Countries with economic problems right now are tending to rightly or not lay the blame at the door of the elected politicians. Those in power right now.This could by why both the Pasok and the ND are keeping a very low profile. No public electioneering for them but rather a quiet presence behind the scenes.
Greece's recent financial woes have led to the formation of many splinter groups and political parties. It could be that a rag tag of many parties ends up forming a coalition government in Greece.
Although World News has not detailed Greece's debt problems lately that does not mean that they have miraculously vanished. Greeks face more cuts, austerity and a sinking standard of living for many years to come. One fairly new Party is the Independent Greeks which is currently led by Panos Kammenos. This party like other new ones wants to turn its back on Greek Debt and austerity and start again.
This may be the only way forward for Greece and its people but it will have those such as Angela Merkel breaking out in a cold sweat. Independent Greeks has said they will abandon the bailout agreement. Kammenos said, "In Greece we have a democracy. In the democracy we have a constitution. The constitution of Greece doesn't accept this kind of agreement."
Pollsters do not expect Independent Greeks to poll enough votes for a clear mandate to govern nor are many of the smaller, newer parties likely to want to work together. This means that it could be the year of the ND party, but elections are funny affairs.
Tags: Greece, Greek people, Pasok party, ND, Greek austerity, Greek election