Saturday, June 16, 2012

Greece: chronic insecurity and despair – welcome to life in a broken state

by Nikos Konstandaras


June 16, 2012

The world may be watching Sunday's elections in Greece with fascination and awe, as one would approach the scene of an accident before the rescue workers arrive, understanding that the vote could push Greece out of the euro and trigger a series of unforeseen consequences for the eurozone and the global economy.

For we Greeks, though, this is a purely domestic affair. The pressures of meeting our creditors' demands for austerity and reform in exchange for life-supporting loans are straining society to breaking point. The vote will stand as a memorial to the breakdown of our political system, so we have too much on our plates to be overly concerned with how others see us.

We are voting because our political parties could not find the courage to work together in the face of a dire national crisis after the inconclusive 6 May election. Then, they could not even agree on the terms of a televised debate. Now, before Sunday's vote, these masters of diplomacy and compromise who cannot talk to each other all promise to renegotiate successfully the terms of our bailout deal with increasingly frustrated partners in the EU and the IMF.


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