Inside and Outside Perspectives on Greece’s Elections

SYRIZA rising:  The ascendant party can’t rest on their laurels.

SYRIZA rising:  The ascendant party can’t rest on their laurels.

Jacob Wasserman, Maroon-News Staff & Nicholas Adamopoulos

High Risk, High Reward Strategy for Economy

Jacob Wasserman, Maroon-News Staff

Only a few weeks after the political elections in Greece occurred, there seems to be an abundance of economic confidence. With Alexis Tsipras becoming Prime Minister and his party SYRIZA winning over 36 percent of the Parliamentary seats, the leftist party will have a larger opportunity to advance with its economic goals – such as loosening up the EuroZone restrictions currently placed on the nation.

European banks, especially the German Federal Bank, lend Greece much needed capital. This process deprives the Greeks of many benefits, such as a stable economic structure, sufficient social benefits, and a strong education system. With the current procedures, Greece lacks sufficient capital to rebuild their economy. The people are justified in being less-than-receptive toward the status quo. 

Economically, SYRIZA, which now holds the most seats in Hellenic Parliament (Greece’s legislative body) and heads the country, was voted in to obtain a better deal with the European banks. The new government claims they will not accept a continuation of “bad” borrowing deals and will force banks to lend to them under conditions that will leave them with more capital. 

While these risky negotiations could theoretically lead to the banks taking a tougher stance, the Greeks must continue to press for a strong deal. Their economy will not rebound until Greece’s people are motivated and enthusiastic; they will continue to see tepid growth until they maintain substantial capital to protect all members of society and invest in business again. 

This effort, along with the attempt to change economic policy internally, could help them out of their financial suffering. This is not just Greece’s problem. Countries throughout the Eurozone, most importantly Germany and France, hold enormous portions of Greek debt and will experience hardship if Greece defaults. It is in everyone’s interest to do the best for Greece’s economy, as the rest of the Eurozone will continue to feel its dragging effects. Hopefully SYRIZA can uphold its promises and restructure its debt.



Approaching Judgement Day with Newfound Confidence

Nicholas Adamopoulos, Class of 2018

For the first time in recent memory, Greeks took to the streets in support of their government last week. A recent opinion poll shows that 70 percent of Greeks are in favor of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his fledgling government’s gutsy approach to their upcoming negotiations with Eurozone leaders – the highest approval rating a Greek government has received in quite some time. 

Make no mistake, most of the general public is aware of the dire financial straits Greece is currently in, but people want a government that will fight for them and attempt to overturn the austerity measures imposed by the Eurozone. The ruling SYRIZA government promised just this during the election campaign, and so far they’ve kept their promises – a welcomed change in recent Greek politics.

Much of the public support comes from the fact that this new government, inexperienced as it may be, has come out swinging after its election; they seem ready to take Eurozone leaders head on when it pitches its new plan in Brussels Wednesday morning. Furthermore, this government has ditched the aloof, detached nature of the previous regime, selling off many of its luxury cars and planes in an attempt to connect with the people and show that they are going all out in the fight to reverse the austerity measures. 

While these bold actions have Greece plunging headlong into a fight it cannot afford to lose, they have done something for the people – they have begun to restore the national pride and dignity of Greece, and taken steps to fight the German economic Juggernaut that has been imposing harsher and harsher austerity measures on many of Europe’s struggling nations. 

Tsipras has some reason to feel confident going into negotiations – everyone would like to see some light at the end of the tunnel with regards to the eurozone’s financial struggles, and Tsipras and his government have already garnered more support across Europe than the previous Prime Minister Antonis Samaras ever had. 

Having seen the effects of the 2012 protests against the German austerity measures firsthand, it is refreshing to see the Greek people taking to the streets with a new agenda, and to finally have a government they can support. A mood of cautious optimism, anticipation, and pride has arisen in Greece, and we hope that this fledgling government can pull Greece back from the brink.