As Greece reels toward a second election in June, disillusioned Greeks have their say.
By Andy Dabilis for Southeast European Times in Athens -- 19/05/12
Greeks' opposition to the austerity measures demanded by international lenders is deepening the government-citizen gap and could lead to another stalemate in next month's elections, but some economists are urging Greeks to be patient.
"All the talk about economic collapse is not reality. The government can find money from other sources," Nikolaos Bouzas, an economist at the National Centre for Social Research in Athens, told SETimes.
Still, austerity remains the driving issue. Greeks continue to be so enraged that they did not even give caretaker Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikramenos -- one of the highest-ranking judges -- the benefit of the doubt before he was sworn in.
"A top caretaker government will lead us to the elections? Government of the people [?]" asked M.O. rhetorically.
Acknowledging the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party won 7% of the vote, he argued the citizenry will have no excuses in June.
"The people have no alibi this time that they did not know, that it was anger that played a role, the 'certain' joint-governing or the prospect of a left-wing government, the full moon, Mercury Retrograde, salaries going downhill or whatever else," M.O. said.
Platon Tinios, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pireaus, told SETimes that Greeks have a penchant for passionate debate.
"Greeks are not good at arguing rationally, so they could react the way they do when difficult questions are put to them," Tinios said.
That propensity, however, can influence their political decisions and bring uncertainty in the June elections, even in light of the Coalition of the Radical Left's (SYRIZA) increasing popularity.
"[But] they may decide to go for a heroic action and damn the consequences," he added.
The likelihood that parties like SYRIZA, which rejects austerity measures outright, may make further gains in June causes some Greeks anxiety about the country's prospects.
"Trotskyites have a nice slogan: 'Greece can and must become the Venezuela of Europe.' Let us make the slogan a little more timely as follows: 'Alexis Tsipras can and must become the Hugo Chavez of Greece'," Thomas Akrotirianaki said, likening SYRIZA's young leader to Venezuela's socialist president.
Others continue to blame the establishment politicians for Greece's economic as well as social crisis, but argue the politicians must find a way to agree for the good of the country, except with those who want to assume power at any price.
"The political parties ought to communicate and … be in accord. Of course, we will not waste time any longer on the political vagrancy of those who have a fanatical desire for authority. Off with them and off with the expectation of deliverance," Thanassis Nikolaides said.
Still others wrote of an international conspiracy against Greece and view the elections as the means to battle it.
"A co-ordinated intimidation assault against the Greeks has been unleashed by bankers, co-operating European and Greek politicians and the media controlled by them. It is about the biggest attempt in the recent years to defraud the Greek people," Konstandinos said.
Likening the conspiracy to a monster, Konstandinos claimed it has been wounded by the decisive vote by Greeks in the May 6th elections.
"Nevertheless, the European 'fellow members' aided by certain media are trying to 'resurrect' the monster at the expense of the country and the Greeks," Kosntantinos concluded.