In this post, Minas Samatas, Professor of Political Sociology, University of Crete, reports that while the Greeks said no to draconian austerity, no to the two ruling parties, and no to European threats of Greece’s exit from euro zone, “Grexit,” they suggested a new path for a democratically legitimate European Union. -Jeff
Μay 6th elections in Greece have sent a loud and clear message: the Greek people said no to the draconian austerity measures that have devastated the country in exchange for dead-end bailouts from the troika of European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Designed by IMF and Eurocrats, the bailout “memorandum” does not guarantee a safe path to move Greece away from disaster, even if implemented in full. The austerity policy gives absolute priority for paying creditors at the expense of citizens’ incomes, without any future prospect of development and growth. It promotes sharp reductions in public spending, shattering the healthcare and educational system, and the “Balkanization” of Greece with salaries under 200 Euros comparable to Bulgaria. The Greek electorate rejected this in no uncertain terms.
They also, and very importantly, said no to the two ruling parties, punishing the socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy (ND). They are responsible for the dramatic economic crisis and signed the disastrous austerity program (memorandum) to protect the foreign creditors and the banks at the expense of the most vulnerable. The outcome of the ballot expressed anger against the corrupted political elite and its policies. It expressed dismay at the lack of punishment of those responsible for the crisis. It was a call for social justice for those who suffer from the crisis. The election results express the fear and despair of the Greek people affected by the memorandum’s inhumane policy, lurching deeper into poverty and despair by sharp salary and pensions cuts, unfair tax increases, 22% unemployment (with 922 people losing their job per day over the past year), leaving no future for the young people but immigration, leading to over 3,000 persons to suicide.
The conservative New Democracy (ND) came in first place . . .
Read more: Reflections on the Elections in Greece