Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How the Greek conservative leader "defends" his people against austerity imposed by Germany

Athens News report on the shifting poll results on the upcoming June 17 Greek elections, in which the conservative New Democracy Party (ND) is currently narrowly in the lead (New Democracy leading in the polls 05/29/2012)

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras launched an attack on [the left coalition] SYRIZA, accusing his rival of flirting with disaster by promising voters Greece could ditch the bailout without risking an exit from the euro.

"If Greece unilaterally rejects the bailout deal it will be isolated for years ... It will have no food, no drugs, no fuel. It will have to live with permanent power cuts," Samaras told party faithful in a rally.

Responding to Samaras, SYRIZA reiterated its opposition to the bailout. "It (the bailout) would mean new wage and pension cuts, new public sector firings, soaring unemployment and shuttered shops," the party said in a statement.

SYRIZA says it wants Greece to keep the euro but drop the austerity policies associated with the country's bailout - a position shared by most Greeks according to one of the polls.
Knuckle under to Angela Merkel! Now, that's a rousing election slogan. (NOT!)

And, in fact, ND obviously doesn't think it can get away with being quite that subservient to Angienomics austerity. Despite the attack on Syriza just quoted, ND is at least pretending that they will do something more than just surrender the future of the country:

In a bid to woo anti-bailout voters, Samaras said on Saturday that Greece should be given more time to comply with a bailout term to generate about 11.5 billion euros in savings over the next two years.

"All new spending cuts ... should take place over four years, not two," he was quoted as saying by Real News.

The government’s bailout deal allows for a possible relaxation of the country's bailout targets if its recession worsens.
Whether ND is too corrupted and compromised to fight for that once elected is an obvious question. But their current showing in the polls comes with at least gestures on their part toward easing the terms of their "bailout". Although it's the creditors rather than the Greek people who are being bailed out.

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