Monday, June 18, 2012

Samaras’ victory offers relief but no answers

by Stephen King

Financial Times

June 18, 2012

So, huge sighs of relief all round. Greece’s New Democracy party, led by Antonis Samaras, managed in Sunday’s elections to head off growing support for the radical left wing Syriza alliance. Mr Samaras looks set to become Greece’s next Prime Minister.

The Athens ATMs won’t run dry, there will be no sudden reintroduction of drachmas and Greece will happily be able to persuade itself that it remains firmly held in the bosom of Europe. The euro lives to fight another day.

Mr Samaras will now attempt to form a ragtag government including more or less everyone except Syriza. At the very least, that means a coalition involving both teh centre-right New Democracy and the socialist Pasok party, hardly the cosiest of bedfellows. They have, after all, been at each other’s throats for the past few decades.

Still, both New Democracy and Pasok claim to be both pro-euro and pro-austerity, so Greece’s European partners and the wider world should be able to breathe a sigh of relief.


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