Posts tagged Antonis Samaras
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
— “My Funny Valentine”, Rodgers & Hart
A confluence of events last week may represent a turning point in the continuing crisis over the Euro Zone, and particularly what to do about the specific problem of Greece.
As Michael has pointed out earlier, there has been a conflict between economies strongly advocating austerity (in the Euro Zone, primarily Germany), and those advocating stimulus (primarily the Greeks and other debtor nations, such as Spain, Italy and Ireland).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken a hard line, mostly in keeping with the sentiments of the German people, that the Greeks need to get off their lazy κώλοι and get to work. This means severe austerity measures, and the Germans (at least publicly) have taken a hard line on this issue.
From the Greek side, a May election which gave a second-place finish to the left-wing Syriza party (Coalition of the Radical Left, ΣΥΡΙΖΑ) only hardened positions. Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, swore quite publicly that he would not accept German-backed austerity measures. There are 300 seats in the Greek Parliament. In the May 8 election, New Democracy’s leader Antonis Samaras (with 108 seats) failed to make a proper coalition in the three-day window given by the Constitution, so Syriza (with 52 seats) took a crack at building one. Syriza also failed. That left markets in a turmoil and the Greeks facing the very real prospect of a disorderly exit from the Euro Zone. (more…)