ND head Antonis Samaras will get the first try at forming a new government:
Samaras has pledged to attempt to renegotiate several points in the bailout memorandum, including an extension of the fiscal adjustment period. That type of renegotiation is at the core of the [3rd place] Pasok and [4th place] Democratic Left programmes.It's an open question as to whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel can be considered a rational actor on the question of Greek austerity any more.
Samaras is expected to attempt to form a broad-based coalition, for which socialist Pasok and Fotis Kouvelis’ Democratic Left are prime candidates.
Syriza will not be in that coalition. In his nationally televised statement, Tsipras said his party is the core of the popular, anti-memorandum majority.
Tsipras said that he will continue to oppose austerity measures and the selloff of state assets, as demanded by Greece's creditors. He said that the new government would do well to exploit the extremely strong opposition to exact better terms from Greece’s creditors.
He attributed Syriza's defeat to the unprecedented attacks on the party and the psychological terror exercised by the "unholy alliance" of the domestic and international political elite, which pressured the electorate not to vote for Syriza.
The conventional wisdom is following the lead of ND and Pasok in regarding this vote as "pro-bailout", pro-Europe and pro-euro, and therefore a rejection of Syriza's position. But that's a sloppy oversimplification. Syriza's professed program was to demand new terms but to maintain the bailout and Greece's membership in the EU and the eurozone. None of the three top vote-getting parties (ND, Pasok, Syriza) declared itself in favor of going back to the drachma currency.
In addition, both ND and Pasok, as mentioned above, make electoral promises to attempt to get better terms on the austerity demands.
Whether maintaining Greece's membership in the EU and the eurozone are even remotely feasible at this point is a different matter. Unless Angie has a drastic change of position and soon, it's almost unthinkable that Greece can stay. Remaining under the current conditions means agreeing to the self-destruction of their own national economy.
Tags: angela merkel, alexis tsipras, austerity economics, eu, euro, european union, greece