Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The end of the Samaras junta: rising poverty and political uncertainty will lead to early elections

The recent resignation of the Greek ambassador to Berlin seems to be just the tip of the iceberg, as the Chancellor of Germany simply showed Prime Minister Samaras the exit door during his visit to Berlin. Due to the incompetence of Samaras, Greece is now already in the orbit of early elections.

Tell-tale signs in parliament are beginning to show, such as an unusually large number of unrelated amendments by the government which have been put forward to the house, as well widespread doubt that the government will be able to muster the 180 MPs needed to elect a president. These are all indicative signs of a pre-election climate.

On the home front, the Greek people are suffering at the hands of the memorandum, which Samaras has helped facilitate in an attempt to appease the intentional loan sharks.  A report by the Parliamentary Budget Office estimates that there are millions of Greeks living in poverty. Specifically, there are 2.5 million Greeks that are below the threshold of relative poverty, and a further 3.8 million people who are at risk of poverty due to deprivation and unemployment. Greece, according to Eurostat is in the worst position out of a total of 28 EU countries with regards to risk of poverty. Greece is also among the EU countries with the highest amount of poverty (23.1%), ranking just head of Spain, Romania and Bulgaria. With rampant unemployment over 26% in the second quarter of 2014, there was also a dramatic decrease in earnings for those that are employed, with minimum earnings below the average amount earned over 14 years ago.

The Greek people have grown tired of the endless lies of the Samaras junta, as shown in recent polls where New Democracy has taken a massive nose dive. With all these factors at work, elections will most probably take place between October and November, with the most likely date being the 9th of November.

With Syriza clearly leading in all recent polls, Tsipras is gunning for
elections now. Behind him are the international lenders, who are also hoping for elections. If Syriza is able to raise the estimated 130 to 140 deputies, they will need another party to form a coalition government. Possibilities include the Independent Greeks, which might add a further 10 to 12 deputies, PASOK may add 15-18 MPs with a similar number coming from the River. Of course, the dream for the international lenders is to have a New Democracy and Syriza alliance, adding a good 60-70 representatives to the coalition, and therefore controlling both sides of the corrupt political establishment.

New Democracy may also have another reason to avoid delaying upcoming elections, as the 18 month period following the initial Golden Dawn arrests will end in March 2015. With the chief, Michaloliakos, and Golden Dawn MPs Pappas and Lagos out of gaol, the Nationalists party will be sure to bring many of New Democracy patriotic voters under the Nationalist banner. The Nationalists only continue to grow stronger, so perhaps Samaras should consider the prospect of early elections, or face an even greater defeat in the future.

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