Recession Continues In Greece As Politicians Fail To Break The Gridlock
Politics played its role even when it mattered most for the country. It was an utter failure on the part of the parliament in Greece to elect a fresh President on Monday. Therefore, it was natural that its citizens were frustrated over the developments.
The frustration was quite understandable since they have weathered harsh austerity measures for years. European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have all wanted Greek to follow austerity steps aimed at bringing back its economy on track.
Prime Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras, has decided an early national election on January 25 following the failure to elect a President by twelve votes. New Democrat party candidate and a former foreign minister, Stavros Dimas, was able to get 168 votes only, while 180 votes were needed to win.
Now that the elections are set on January 25, the next thing to go through anyone’s mind was that which party stands a better chance of forming the next government. Current poll suggest that a relatively new party with leanings towards left, Syriza, has the capability to capture power. The present coalition government was headed by Social Democrats and Conservatives. In the 2012 elections, Syriza was able to get 27% of the parliamentary seats and became the second biggest party.
Currently, Greece’s unemployment reached 25% following the recession of six-years. The country had no good alternatives but to implement a number of austerity drives. The moves were made in order to secure a bailout package from the European Union financial authorities, as well as, the IMF. The trade-off included tax hikes, pay cuts, and laying off of thousands of government employees.
On top of these austerity measures, tax hikes were enacted on pensioners while reducing pay for jobless and pension payments. The prospects for Syriza look bright since it has promised to renegotiate the agreement and push back on the pain that Greek Citizens are suffering.
Meanwhile, Christoso Panagopoulos, the country’s ambassador in the U.S., admitted that people were not happy and that the economic crisis was something that was not heard of during peacetime. He said that Greece economy was recovering steadily but slowly and pointed to fact that jobless claims fell to 25% from 28%.
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