Friday, June 15, 2012

Greece Votes Again

Wall Street Journal
June 14, 2012

Nobody said the second time would be the charm. Greece's political parties failed to form a government after last month's parliamentary elections, and neither Greek citizens nor their creditors have any appetite for another inconclusive result after Sunday's runoff vote. But no number of polls will spell political stability for Greece unless Athens can show the credible commitment to reform that the Greek establishment has dodged for decades.

Not that too much in the way of reform is on offer at ballot boxes this weekend. The question after Sunday will be whether either of the two main parties can deliver Greece from the clientelism and corruption that bloat its government and leave its private economy moribund—even if they manage to form a government that can serve out the year.

Ahead of the election, the center-right New Democracy party looks to be leading the Coalition of the Radical Left—Syriza in the Greek abbreviation. But once again no party is likely to claim an absolute majority. Syriza was the sleeper story of last month's elections, winning second place with 16.8% of the vote; the party took less than 5% three years ago.


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