GR Political Economy Digest #10

Ilias Makris (Kathimerini, 24 Jan 2015)
Ilias Makris (Kathimerini, 24 Jan 2015)

Only one day left before the Greek elections. With Syriza leading the polls, and New Democracy trailing far behind (Syriza is ahead with at least 4-5%, based on the most recent polls), a scenario in which Syriza can form a government without depending on any other party is all the more plausible. Regardless of the electoral result, the economic consequences of these unnecessary snap elections for Greece and its people are going to be felt for many years to come. Dire times are ahead, and only a few people seem to fully realize the upcoming repercussions.

A vast majority of Greeks expects Syriza and its leader, Alexis Tsipras, to perform an eloquent somersault (‘kolotoumba’ in Greek) in the next few days, or weeks, going back on the programmatic promises of ‘tearing to pieces the Memoranda’ and playing hard-ball with the Troika of lenders. They expect Tsipras to agree on a new MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) – even if Syriza will not actually call it like that – which they hope will be more lenient than the existing agreement with our lenders. Even if such a somersault does occur, however, and given that the Troika requests can be met somehow, Syriza offers no persuasive guarantees of continuing much needed structural reforms, of opening up a relatively closed economy prone to crony capitalism, and of fighting the existing clientelistic and oligarchic structures. On the contrary, it seems ready to implement a host of anti-liberal and statist measures on the tradition of the two former parties of the status quo, PASOK and ND (PASOK began this tradition in the 1980s, and ND quickly followed in order to ensure its electoral competitiveness).

Today, one day before the elections, things look quite gloomy and extremely volatile, to say the least. Tomorrow, we will be one step closer to ending this grandiose string of speculations. Will we also be closer to a Greek knockout? Let’s hope not.

Without further ado, here are the hottest articles on the Greek political economy in the past 24 hours:

  1. Greece goes to the polls and Europe holds its breath, by Harris Mylonas and Akis Georgakellos | The Washington Post (Monkey Cage), Jan 24 2015
  2. Greece: Austerity, Relief or Exit?, by Marcus Walker | The Wall Street Journal, Jan 23 2015
  3. After an anxiety-filled campaign, Greek voters consider a turn to the Left, by Suzanne Daley and Dimitris Bounias | The New York Times, Jan 23 2015
  4. Syriza’s rise fueled by professors-turned-politicians, by Charles Forelle | The Wall Street Journal, Jan 23 2015
  5. The last stand of Greece’s ruling elite, by Nathalie Savaricas | The Independent, Jan 23 2015
  6. Greece to need another bailout extension – euro zone official, by Robit Emmott | Reuters UK, Jan 23 2015
  7. Greece’s hope and change moment, by Yiannis Baboulias | Foreign Policy, Jan 23 2015
  8. HuffPost Exclusive: Greece pre-election poll | Huffington Post, Jan 23 2015
  9. Inside Syriza: Why young Greek are voting for the left, by Matthew Cassel | Al Jazeera America, Jan 23 2015
  10. As Greece prepares to vote, a new age of Eurozone tension begins, by Times / Fortune Editors | Fortune, Jan 23 2015
  11. Greece’s solidarity movement: ‘it’s a whole new model – and it’s working’, by Jon Henley | The Guardian, Jan 23 2015
  12. Greece’s Syriza could face schism after likely election triumph, by Damien Sharkov | Newsweek, Jan 24 2015
  13. Greek shares surge, by Alexis Barley | Wall Street Observer, Jan 24 2015
 Photo: Ilias Makris (Kathimerini)
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