In a Europe where the outcome of most elections is predicted weeks before votes are cast, the triumph of left-wing Syriza in May’s Greek elections was one of the few shocks of recent years.
The party often described as near-Communist in its rhetoric is neck-and-neck with right-wing New Democracy in the polls ahead of Sunday. Talking to people in Athens, it’s not difficult to see why foreign analysts and officials are afraid that Syriza will win most of the votes this weekend.
“What are the old parties doing? They’ve had their chance and look where we are,” Angelis, a waiter in a cafÃ© opposite Greece’s parliament building, told CNBC. He’s planning to vote for Syriza on Sunday.
Syriza’s very newness is one of its advantages. The Greek people are increasingly fed up with corruption, which is one of many drags on their economy, and the older parties have all had their corruption scandals over the years.
They also have the advantage of never having backed the bailout – or the “memorandum” as it is known in Greece – which is the focus of much discontent in the country.
Measures which have been enacted by the technocratic government to try and meet the terms of the bailout often appear to have created more problems than they have solved. For example, electricity bills were raised by a controversial new property tax, but consumers were allowed to put off paying those bills.
Now, an estimated 500,000 households haven’t paid their electricity bills for more than three months and the state-run energy company needs to pay $657.2 million which it doesn’t have to its banks by June 22.
Read more here:
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.