What the Greek Left Wants

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  1. American_Jihad

    American_Jihad Flaming Libs/Koranimals

    May 1, 2012
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    What the Greek Left Wants

    5/9/12 By TAKIS MICHAS

    Syriza doesn't just oppose austerity, but reform itself.

    Sunday's Greek elections have been widely interpreted as the logical outcome of harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece by its foreign creditors. According to this view, the Greek bailout, which also mandated sharp cuts in public-sector pensions and pay, led to widespread discontent and fueled the rise of the parties that reject Greece's international credit agreements.

    But the problem in Greece is more profound than this. While austerity measures did play a part in voter discontent, the most important factor in the outcome of the elections was opposition to any talk of structural reform of the Greek economy.

    Financial markets' relatively calm reaction to the Greek turmoil masked rising risks Greece is on a road that leads to its exit from the euro zone, with hard-to-predict consequences. Alkman Granitsas and Martin Essex discuss. Photo: Getty

    The parties that gained in the elections—especially the radical-left Syriza, which ended in second place—do not simply oppose austerity measures. What Syriza opposes is any kind structural reform of the economy that will boost competitiveness. The party has, for example, consistently opposed teachers' evaluations or other overhauls to the ailing education system. It has vehemently opposed reducing state bureaucracy or reforming the inflexible Greek labor market.

    Greek leader of Coalition of the Radical Left party (Syriza) Alexis Tsipras.

    At the same time, Syriza—which began negotiations yesterday to lead the next government—has remained silent on the need to combat the widespread graft and corruption that characterizes the Greek civil service. Its only prescription for Greece's economic problem is that the country should refuse to pay its debt, expropriate the rich and staff the bloated public sector with even more people. Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, has suggested hiring 150,000 more people in the civil service as a way of reducing Greek unemployment.

    Takis Michas: What the Greek Left Wants - WSJ.com
  2. waltky

    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2011
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    May 17, 2012 - Suddenly, it has become easy to see how the euro — that grand, flawed experiment in monetary union without political union — could come apart at the seams. We’re not talking about a distant prospect, either. Things could fall apart with stunning speed, in a matter of months, not years. And the costs — both economic and, arguably even more important, political — could be huge.

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