29 December 2014

Pass the Popcorn

The Greek Parliament failed to elect a new President, which means that snap elections need to be held, and it looks like the left leaning Syriza Party, which has been dismissive of the "stay in the Euro zone at all costs" of the mainstream parties looks likely to win:
Greece will hold early national elections on Jan. 25, stoking concerns over the future of the country's financial bailout, after lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a third and final round of voting Monday.

The conservative-led coalition government's candidate for the presidential post, 73-year-old former European commissioner Stavros Dimas, garnered 168 votes from parliament's 300 seats — short of the 180 votes needed to win.

According to the country's constitution, parliament must now be dissolved within 10 days. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said national elections will be held "at the soonest possible date" — Sunday, Jan. 25.


Investors are worried that the main left-wing main opposition Syriza, which is consistently ahead in opinion polls, might try to renege on the terms of the bailout deal that is keeping the country afloat.

Syriza has pledged to roll back some of the reforms the country has implemented in order to qualify for billions of euros in rescue funds from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund — although it has recently somewhat softened its rhetoric about unilaterally pulling out of the bailout deal.
Seeing as how the "bailout deal" has Greeks chopping down their forests to stay warm in the winter, massive unemployment, and hospitals without necessary equipment or drugs in order to repay German and French bankers, I understand why the Syriza party is a bit skeptical that this is in their best interests.

BTW, the IMF is already trying to influence the election:
The International Monetary Fund announced Monday that it would suspend the disbursement of financial aid to Greece until a new government takes power following next month’s elections.

In a communique, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said that talks with Greek authorities over the international financial bailout would be resumed as soon as a new government is chosen after parliamentary polls are held in late January or early February.

The announcement came shortly after the sharply divided Greek parliament once again failed to elect a consensus candidate to occupy the largely ceremonial office of the presidency, making the legislative elections originally set for 2016 inevitable.
Tell me that this is not a flat out threat from the so-called "technocrats" at the IMF.

If Syriza were smart, they would promise an aggressive program of going after the big name tax evaders and soaking the rich.

Technically, it would fit the requirements of the bailout, and it could very allow for sanctions against the foreign banks who have facilitated the hiding of assets.

A few bounties to people who leak bank data, and some snatch and grabs of particularly egregious offenders among the Greek upper class by the national constabulary, and they would be well on their way to solvency.


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