A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A Greek Coalition Will End in Tears

The Greek Revolution?

There is some speculation that the Greek Prime Minister is about to offer his resignation. The embattled premier, George Papandreou, has been attacked from both left and right as a traitor and as a vassal ruler, running the country on behalf of its EU and IMF creditors. 98% of the people blame him and his government for the financial crisis; hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets, and most of them are still camped out in major cities across the country, and eagerly await news of the Prime Minister's resignation speech.

But, however jubilant the celebrations in the public squares, there is more to this supposed 'resignation' than meets the eye. It comes after talks with the conservative opposition leader, where they proposed the formation of a national coalition government, which themselves took place after a formal visit by the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, who urged the opposition to unite behind the bailout plans. The conservatives agreed to a national coalition as long as Papandreou wasn't it's head - and so the Greek premier looks like he will get the chop.

Van Rompuy and the party leaders may think that a national government will bring stability. They couldn't be more wrong. They are making a huge mistake that will cost them dearly. The CIA has warned that if further austerity is imposed upon the country then there may be a coup d'etat. And what is going on now, if not for negotiations about yet another massive bailout plan, and yet more austerity?One third of the population, according to respected polling company Public Issue, now support a 'revolution.' There are tens of thousands of protestors camped out in major cities. There are armed left-wing rebel groups and far-right nationalists launching racist pogroms on the immigrant population. A coalition goverment would remove the last democratic means of expressing popular anger; if one party is held responsible for the crisis, it can be replaced. But what if both are involved? What then?

I should clarify that I don't support a Greek revolution, but there really is no other option for many of the tens of thousands of people already camped out in front of the parliament building. I'm not going to argue over who is responsible: I'd say that it's a combination of Greek political arrogance and the inherent faults in the euro, but that's not the point. The point is that the Greeks are a nation on their knees. The crushing austerity measures, the mass-unemployment, the constant political chaos, and the collapse in government administration after a wave of general strikes has set the stage; now all it needs is a single leader or leadership council to unite the 98% of Greeks who blame the government behind them, and it's all over.

Unless the EU, the IMF, and the Greek government seriously consider other options then the Greeks will have their revolution.

1 comment:

  1. You're right in your analysis, but this ship has sailed. The debts that the Greek government incurred has to be paid.

    The slide from Greek Social Democracy to Greek Fascism will happen swiftly and gleefully.