Greece is back to the polls on Sunday in a cliffhanger electoral environment that is a race between the radical left Syriza who propose to reverse the austerity measures and the only just recently elected New Democracy that is bearing the brunt of pissed off voters.
If Syriza takes it, the Euro is tipped to collapse. An interesting opinion piece from the New York Times:
Nikos Konstandaras says:
"MY country is hurtling toward an election that will decide its fate — whether Greeks will fight on to remain part of Europe’s core or succumb to their own weaknesses and turn inward, choosing isolation, anger and uncertainty greater than that from which they wish to flee.
A number of phrases grabbed my attention in the similarity to new Zealand's political environment:
"We are bitterly divided between those who want to carry on with the reform process and those who want to turn back the clock".
Sounds like the current asset sales debate in New zealand
"On the other hand there is Syriza, a fractious coalition of 12 radical groups that has anointed itself the herald of leftist change throughout Europe and declares that it will immediately annul the bailout agreement while demanding that our partners continue to lend us money".
In New Zealand the pundits are currently calculating what kind of raggle taggle make up of left wing groups might possibly be corralled into a working government if Shearer becomes Prime Minister.
Konstandaros comments on the Greece population loss.Greeks are leaving the country in droves. As are New Zealanders.
Where jobs go, so does the population.
My wife and I have been working for more than 25 years, saving for our children’s education, because even though about half our salaries go to taxes and social security, we know that we must pay for private schools, that we cannot count on state hospitals, and that our pensions are not guaranteed. (All this because others do not pay taxes, and because successive governments did not do their work.)
The middle class always bears the brunt of higher taxes; left wingers would say the rich have to pay their fair share but it is the middle class that subsidizes bludgers and must pay extra of their own health and education services.
"What I want to remember from Greece in 2012 is how laziness and years of intellectual sloppiness can waste the gift of freedom and leave open the gates of the city — how we allowed our leaders to pander to us until we had no one capable of leading us, no one next to us at the barricades."