Friday, June 15, 2012

The return of Greece’s grey suits?

by Tony Barber

Financial Times

June 15, 2012

Perhaps the blazing sun is affecting my mental faculties, but here in Athens I am forming the impression that people in other European capitals are misreading the political tide ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary election in Greece.

There has been much loose talk, for instance, to the effect that the Greek armed forces, which seized power in a 1967 coup and ruled for seven years, might once again step in because of the failure of the nation’s traditional political classes and the apparent radicalisation of the electorate.

Here is what one minister in Greece’s interim government, formed after the inconclusive May 6 election, told me: “There is zero possibility of a military coup. The lesson was learnt from the military dictatorship.”

Famous last words? I don’t think so. Much more likely than military intervention is the prospect, after the election, that Greece turns (as it has done twice since November) to a select group of so-called technocrats to run, in part or in whole, the government.


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