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Above all, a lack of trust

By Alexis Papachelas

Will the resounding message from Sunday’s elections have an effect? The country does not really have much time or room for maneuver. Some like to think that the outcome will scare Germany and France into easing their fiscal demands on Greece and, perhaps, sending the country some generous aid package.

In other words, they hope that our foreign lenders will realize the Greece’s transformation into a Weimar type of republic is simply a foretaste of what will soon happen in Italy, Spain or even France.

If only things were that simple. Our partners are, of course, more prepared for a Greek “failure,” as it were, or even for a eurozone exit. An easing of fiscal demands will mean more money for Greece – something that would not go down well with none of Europe’s parliaments.

But there is yet another problem. Our partners’ view of Greek politicians is not that different to our view; that is, they don’t trust them. They think they are unreliable. However, they see little willingness among Greece’s mainstream parties to change, or any new reformist party in the offing.

Greek people have also discredited anything that has to do with EU-IMF memorandum. And, as long as they do not see any other substantial movement for renewal, they turn to parties of protest such as the one led by Mr Tsipras.

It is obvious that if the Germans do not shift from their positions and if there are no convincing solutions in our country, yesterday’s vote will be the harbinger of the drachma. Some say that if the money for wages and pensions is cut, then people will realize what is going. That may be how things work but it may be a boomerang that angers people even more.

No solution can be imposed from above. The arguments in favor of fighting for the euro have to be set out. It was made clear yesterday that the Athenian political and economic elite speaks a different language from the rest of the country.

We are going to experience some difficult days and months ahead. This is what always happens when a rotten system collapses without something replacing it. That is what always happens when a people matures suddenly after a few decades of the easy life. Yesterday, this people turned things upside down. It is now waiting to see if anyone can restore some order.

ekathimerini.com , Monday May 7, 2012 (01:47)  
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