The situation in Greece is still unresolved

The pro-austerity New Democracy party edged out the anti-austerity SYRIZA party in Sunday’s Greek Parliamentary elections. However – New Democracy didn’t pick up enough seats to a have a majority in government and thus must cobble together a coalition government with other parties. But the SYRIZA party – which came in second and is staunchly opposed to more austerity, has rejected calls from New Democracy to form a coalition government. As part of the bailout agreement – Greece must raise more than 15 billion euros in revenue by selling off its commons, cutting budgets, and laying off about 150,000 government workers. But in order to form a coalition government – the New Democracy Party may be forced to renegotiate these terms.

Meanwhile in France – Parliamentary elections gave the Socialists a big victory over the weekend. Now in control of both chambers of Parliaments and the Presidency – French Socialists plan to soften the German-led austerity drive around Europe, raise taxes on wealthy people and corporations, and put more people back to work with stimulus spending.

So even though Greece fell just short of striking the first major blow to the technocrat’s European austerity agenda – France succeeded and for the first time since the global economy went into a meltdown in 2007 – austerity isn’t the only option on the table anymore.


jmanstro's picture
jmanstro 10 years 40 weeks ago

I think the Greeks are going to end up having to face the reality of a lower standard of living under any possible option. They may be able to negotiate better austerity terms and avoid the estimated 40% drop in value of savings upon conversion back to the Drachma, but they will still be working for less money than they were before. They are simply not competitive any longer and have not been able to convince people that they can grow their way out of their debt. If they all take a significant pay cut at the same time, domestic products and services based on domestic resources would still be affordable in roughly the same proportions, but imports would be much more expensive. On the plus side, they will be able to export much more than they can today, which will increase employment. Eventually, they should be able to return to the same levels of productivity as their counterparts, assuming they have the same educational attainment and the same cultural work ethic and work conditions.

Darrol's picture
Darrol 10 years 40 weeks ago

Hopefully The Newly-Formed Coalition, Will Ultimatly Realise That Austerity Without A Genuine, Sophisticated Plan For Growth Leads To Economic Stagnation. With The Conservative, 'New Deomcracy' Controlling The Overall Majority In Greece's Coalitin Though, I Very Much Doubt It.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 40 weeks ago

I predict the United States Office of the Comptroller will, without most of us knowing it, approve merging securities of North America, Italy, and Great Britain into a new bank, the German American Bank, which will continue under the old name, Bank of England, but under the charter of the new bank, German American Bank.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 40 weeks ago

The French Socialists have the solution and the rest need to follow their lead. My only question is sort of a semantical one but points out an important perspective one needs to have. Are the French actually raising taxes on the rich or are they simply eliminating tax breaks which should never have been implemented in the first place. I know in this country we can't even end tax breaks that were deemed temporary by Bush himself....such is the power of the trickle down lie. It's been a revenue collection problem all along, created by the fairy tale that if we give just a few, all of our wealth, somehow we all benefit. So again it's not that we are raising taxes on the rich, we are ending the Reagan/Thatcher madness and RETURNING to economic sanity!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 39 weeks ago

I wonder if the policemen in Greece have groping hands like our policemen do. Here is a photo of a policeman with his right hand under the girls blouse and directly groping her breast. This is a photo on Chris Hedges' article on Truthdig called "Occupy Will Be Back".

earlymusicus's picture
earlymusicus 10 years 39 weeks ago

It seems that the only European countries that are struggling are those who did what our own country foolishly did: deregulated their banks and corporations, and gave big tax breaks to the wealthy and big business. How long will it take governments to learn that deregulation does not work? How many people will have to be reduced to poverty - including in this country - before the government morons realize that something else has to be done, and that something is to improve the living standard of working people, instead of worrying so much about the rich? You can't have a strong nation if most of the nation is unemployed, undermployed, or poor and homeless. I'm frightened about the future of our own country, and it seems that the world economy hangs on what happens with the U.S. If the Republicans take control again of the U.S., we and the entire world will go under very soon.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 39 weeks ago

Yes, the Republicans will do it more brazenly and out in the our faces...but the Democrats are more sneaky about it and achieve, nearly, the same thing. The ruling elite owns both parties and it is really not a democracy. The ruling elite uses the Democrats to act as a kind of smoke and mirrors diversion pandering hope that always collapses under the reality of time. They use it in an attempt to divert the possibility of mass rebellion...revolution. There is strength in numbers only when the numbers stop being cowed by the psychology manufactured by the few. They (the few) know that they have to keep us stupid, confused, fearful, and divided and they do it quite effectively. When people begin to question authority and tear down the corrupt institutions, en masse, we may have a chance at winning back some of our losses.

Yes, the prospect of a Republican ruled government, ie: even more so than it is now, is very frightful. But, see, that is part of the "keep them fearful" ploy. Keep them fearful so that they don't vote for someone outside of the "good old boy" network of Republicans and Democrats. They have a "monopoly" on our government and that monopoly is "too big and powerful to fail" because of the fear they pander. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumber. Which one are you going to vote for this time around. Or are you going to do something to break-up that monopoly and shock these fascists out of their iron fist of control.

There is an economic "iron curtain" run by a small cabal of ruling elites that keep the rest of the world imprisoned and enslaved. We need to knock down the wall!!! Stop believing in their propaganda...question everything...question major news media..especially the ones that claim to be "fair and balanced".

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