Saturday, January 10, 2015

Weighing the Options the Greeks Face

by Jacob Funk Kirkegaard

Newsweek

January 9, 2015

The failure of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to assemble enough votes to install a new Greek president has resulted in a call for elections for January 25. This worrisome development reflects Samaras’s inability to articulate a political strategy beyond the narrow one of saving his own coalition of only 155 out of 300 members of parliament.

But his difficulties have ushered in a period of grave political and economic uncertainty. The main opposition left-wing Syriza party is narrowly ahead in the polls, tapping into public impatience with its demand to European leaders to renegotiate the tough terms of the 2012 rescue package for Greece.

No party looks likely to win an absolute majority. If that happens, Greece’s two largest parties (the incumbent New Democracy and Syriza) will have to share power with other parties, including likely some entirely new parties expected to emerge.

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