A right winger now has the job nobody in their right mind would want. New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras was sworn in as Greece’s prime minister today, after forming a coalition with Socialist PASOK and the tiny Democratic Left party.
Samaras went to Harvard Business School, just like Mittens. He is from a wealthy family, just like Mittens.
Either New Democracy or PASOK has run Greece for the last four decades, so they represent the establishment. To show you how cliquish Greece is, Samaras was roommates at Amherst College with George Papandreou, who led one of the PASOK governments.
Leftist Syriza, and its young anti-austerity leader Alexis Tspiras, which finished behind New Democracy by less than 3% in this weekend’s voting, is waiting in the wings for this coalition to fail. And it will. I’ll be shocked if it lasts six months.
If the far-left Syriza party had won in Greece, they were going to tell Angela Merkel where she could stick the harsh terms of her bailout. The conservative New Democracy party, which will form a coalition with the Socialist PASOK for 162 seats in the 300-member Parliament, will tell Merkel they support the bailout, but ask “pretty please” if she can just ease the terms.
Different approaches, but the same result. Merkel isn’t going to save Greece.
Greeks hope the election results can lead to further negotiation because they fear the unknown of leaving the euro. Bad as things are, they fear making them worse, although worse seems unavoidable. But trying to negotiate with Merkel fiscally is like trying to negotiate with Hitler militarily. The only way Merkel will help is if Greece completely cedes its fiscal sovereignty to theEU Germany.
It seems inevitable that at some point soon Syriza will take power. It finished a close second to New Democracy with 27% of the vote, having won only 12% in the May election. New Democray and PASOK, the “mainstream” parties, have brought Greece to her knees and five years of recession.