Politis
A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


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December 11, 2012

Repower Greece: Ideas and Solutions to restore the credibility of Greece and move forward

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Written by: PR
Livestreaming from Here  

May 18, Europe/Athens / 03:45:32 PM - By PR

hi

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:57:45 PM - By DW

With that we take our leave. Thanks for watching.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:49:20 PM - By DW

The discussion has now moved to the role of foreign journalists and media sources in breaking stories and maintaining the focus on improper behavior.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:31:52 PM - By DW

Damian Mac Con Uladh has underlined the degree to which illegal immigration in Greece is a European problem, as most migrants want to get to countries like Ireland, where they can request and gain asylum.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:29:06 PM - By DW

The first question has to do with why illegal immigrants should be treated in a special way when a Greek who might go abroad would expect a procedure to be followed.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:23:12 PM - By DW

Nolan is at ACT today to seek ideas about how best to organize further and raise awareness about the cause. The workshop will now proceed with an open dialogue with the guest speakers.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:19:28 PM - By DW

The movemnet sponsored a variety of activities, culminating in a concert in support of illegal immigrants throughout Greece.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:18:14 PM - By DW

Maggie Nolan is describing the efforts to build up the movement in support of the efforts of the Pakistani community in Athens to build a proper mosque. This came as Greek fascists in parliament and in extraparliamentary fashion.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:15:23 PM - By DW

Their site (in Greek) is here.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:14:53 PM - By DW

KEERFA translates into English as the United Movement against Racism and the Fascist Threat.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:10:17 PM - By DW

Maggie Nolan is now telling the audience about the group with which she collaborates, KEERFA. They are particularly concerned about the rise of what they call “the fascist threat” in Greece and throughout Europe.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:04:12 PM - By DW

Are there downsides to “activist” journalism? Mac Con Uladh is now listed on the neo-nazi web site Metapedia as an enemy of the Greek people.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 03:03:10 PM - By DW

He interacted with international colleagues via social media as there was little interest expressed from Greek journalists or others. He was told by the police that he would have a response from the authorities in 2 days. This in 2012 with the social media in full expansion.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:54:43 PM - By DW

The international press took and interest and contacted Mac Con Uladh to follow the story for the Irish Times.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:53:41 PM - By DW

Mac Con Uladh read a generic version of the story from state sponsored media reports, and grew suspicious that the same story was making the rounds with little attempt to understand the extraordinary dimensions of the case. The Egyptian community helped have Walid released, but there was little follow up elsewhere.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:49:32 PM - By DW

The story of Walid is here.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:48:10 PM - By DW

“Am I an activist journalist?” asks Damian Mac Con Uladh. You are never off line, so you are always reporting on what you see, for instance via Twitter. Here is an example on how social journalism can change reporting, the story of the treatment of an Egyptian man on Salamina in the fall of 2012.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:45:20 PM - By DW

Mac Cobn Uladh is talking about the evolution of the use of social media for reporting the news. In December 2008 that changed, after the shooting of a young Greek teenager by the police. Email, Facebook, and Twitter all began to mark to journalists’ landscape.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:42:58 PM - By DW

The Dukakis Center now welcomes Damian Mac Con Uladh, an Irish journalist living and working in Athens since 2004. He has written for Athens News and now for the new English language site of Eleftheropypia, EnetEnglish.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:41:16 PM - By DW

Kostas Kallergis works with journalists representing international media. It is one of the facts of the current crisis in Greece that the main stories and most important investigative journalism are the work of foreigners. Kallergis has explained how to use the social media as a way of pressuring politicians to own up to corrupt behavior.

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:32:15 PM - By DW

Kostas Kallergis is describing the background to and efforts underway to trace corruption among Greek politicians. Kallergis is the author of the popular blog “When the Crisis Hit the Fan,” which has recently been facelifted and renamed “Crisis Republic.”

April 10, Europe/Athens / 02:30:06 PM - By DW

Hello and welcome to the third Inspiration Xchange workshop at the American College of Thessaloniki, taking place in the Bissell Library under the auspices of the Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center for Public and Humanitarian Service. We are joined by journalists and bloggers Kostas Kallergis and Damian Mac Con Uladh, and Maggie Nolan of the anti-racism group KEERFA.

 

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:31:43 PM - By DW

Thanks to Alec Mally and Alexandros Costopoulos for their inspiring presentation of Repo[we]rGreece. Politis is signing off.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:30:26 PM - By DW

A good example of how Repo][we]rGreece is a conference put on by AISEC in Athens last year.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:23:59 PM - By DW

The question put to Alexandros Costopoulos implies that RG is a platform for startups. It is not, answers the speaker. It is an initiative in perception management long term.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:14:14 PM - By DW

The problem is, according to Alexandros Costopoulos, is not to find help. The problem is to show an interest. The help will come on its own.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:14:03 PM - By ip-admin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr David Wisner of ACT and the Dukakis Center and Alexandros Costopoulos of repo(we)r Greece

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:11:39 PM - By DW

A member of the audience asks how the networking can take place once the stories have been told? One needs a facilitator for the actual implementation of a good idea.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:10:45 PM - By ip-admin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandros Costopoulos of repo(we)r Greece

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:10:29 PM - By DW

How does change start? Out of an audience of 70 people, two or three may ask a question. This is two or three more than would have asked a question had they not attended. The point will not be to blame people, but to look at positive examples of what people can do.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:07:02 PM - By DW

Who is to blame, and whose responsibility is it to pay for past mistakes? RG seeks merely to tell people around the world that Greeks, while sharing in the origins of the crisis, also have positive stories to tell.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:06:28 PM - By ip-admin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alec Mally of repo(we)r Greece

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:04:58 PM - By DW

Politis is live-streaming and live-blogging a presentation by Alexandros Costopoulos and Alec Mally on Repo[we]Greece, a civil society, public diplomacy campaign conceived to correct popular misperceptions about Greece and Greeks, from the Bissell Library on the campus of the American College of Thessaloniki. This is a public service initiative of the Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center for Public and Humaitarian Service.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 01:00:14 PM - By DW

RG is a public diplomacy campaign, insists Costopoulos, aiming at an international audience. This is why the personal stories are important [and where ACT students can play a role].

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:58:10 PM - By DW

What are the concrete day to day activities. Road shows, partnerships, events, and so on. The group will visit thirteen US universities in the coming year, including Harvard and others on the East Coast of the US. Another road show will visit Germany. In Greece the group will host local discussion sessions aimed at encouraging young people to engage. The group alss.o invites personal stories — success with regard to perceptions and mentalities.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:55:19 PM - By DW

We are watching the video of Repo[we]rGreece, which is on the home page of the initiative.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:53:02 PM - By DW

Is there a larger European dimension to the Greek problem? Maybe, but re-branding depends on the local initiative. Especially where the prejudices are deeply engrained. This is where the public diplomacy campaign comes in.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:48:57 PM - By DW

What are the difficulties? People even if given the tools still do not engage. This is the challenge of RG one year on.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:47:31 PM - By DW

Repower Greece works through two pillars. The first is international educational institutions, thinks tanks and policy institutes. The effort in this domain is to encourage citizenship initiatives. “We are not bankrupt,” even if our governments and our institutions are, says Costopoulos.

The group hosts discussion sessions, collects messages from students, organizes events featuring youth world-wide, invites guest speakers. Repower Greece Ambassadors are those who take action on their own to help correct misperceptions about Greek society.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:44:16 PM - By DW

“We are actually demonstrating stories,” from all sectors of civil society. Our job is to put right next to the negative imagery all the things that are positive about Greece and Greeks. This is the fundamental message, delivered through a holistic approach. It is the essence of public diplomacy.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:41:57 PM - By DW

Tools and use thereof cost nothing but can produce tangible results. A  different signature identifies the initiative: Ït’s time _we_ redefine Greece.” Most powerful marketing campaign anywhere.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:40:04 PM - By DW

How does Repo[we]rGreece work? Their web site collects thoughts, stories from all sources, and positions taken in order to ensure that yesterday’s mistakes never happen again. They use children’s stories to particular effect. The site  has online tools to allow citizens to campaign on behalf of the initiative. Co-ownership is the key. ACT can play its role using these tools.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:36:30 PM - By DW

Challenge: strengths, achievements, talents, and so on, to confront misperceptions about Greece and Greeks.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:35:46 PM - By DW

Collective responsibility must be assumed, even if one was not around when the crisis began, at its roots.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:34:20 PM - By DW

How to combat the negative stereotypes abroad about Greece and , now, Greeks? How about a public diplomacy campaign designed to step back and build on this cornerstone, be regain Greece’s credibility.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:31:57 PM - By DW

What about the image of Greece abroad. It is not truthful. This is why Costopoulos started the initiative.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:29:42 PM - By DW

The approach  that Alexandros Costopoulos takes may well be unique in all of the European continent, says Alec Mally in introducing Mr Costopoulos.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:26:23 PM - By DW

Who better to answer these questions than Alexandros Costopoulos, whom Alec Mally dubs the “Guru of Greek Civil Society.”

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:25:32 PM - By DW

Does civil society imply commitment of democracy and equal rights? How do we classify third sector citizen initiatives? What about funding. especially public funding? Lot’s of questions remain to be answered.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:23:01 PM - By DW

Our first guest, Alec Mally, is speaking now, introducing the concept of civil society. CS is a “third sector” balancing business and the public sector. Repower Greece is a  classic example of a civil society initiative.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 12:21:45 PM - By DW

Welcome! The Dukakis Center is hosting Alexandros Costopoulos and Alec Mally of Repo[we]r Greece for a talk about civil society and efforts under way to help improve the image of Greece abroad. I’m David Wisner and I will be live-blogging today’s proceedings.

December 11, Europe/Athens / 11:55:30 AM - By PR

Livestreaming from Here

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:51:12 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη:

Επιτυχία των μεταρρυθμίσεων εξαρτάται από:

-όρεξη για μεταρρυθμίσεις

-σωστή διάγνωση ανεπίσημης οικονομίας/πραγματικού προβλήματος

-δημιουργία στρατηγικής εδραιωμένης στην εμπιστοσύνη

-προτεραιότητα στις σημαντικές μεταρρυθμίσεις με το μεγαλύτερο αντίκτυπο

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:51:05 PM - By julia

“You either grow old waiting for something to happen, or grow old doing something. Isn’t it silly to grow old waiting for something to happen?”

-Elena Panaritis

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:47:33 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη:

Πολιτική-Αγορά ιδεών

Οικονομία-Αγορά ιδεών για παραγωγή

 

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:45:47 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη:

άτυπη εργασία κοντά στο 50% με αποτέλεσμα τη μείωση των εσόδων της πραγματικής οικονομίας

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:42:08 PM - By julia

Elena Paratitis just presented a graph illustrating the complexities that bureaucracy creates.

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:37:49 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη:

Ανεπίσημη Οικονομία στην Ελλάδα:

-33%  στην αγορά εργασίας

-κοντά στο 100% στην αγοραπωλησία γης

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:37:45 PM - By julia

“The unofficial development, the informal economy, does not mean that it is illegal.”

-Elena Panaritis, on property security

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:33:24 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη:

Η ανάπτυξη είναι συνάρτηση καλών κανόνων

Κλειδί για την ανάπτυξη:

-Ασφάλεια των περιουσιακών δικαιωμάτων/δημόσιας ή ιδιωτικής περιουσίας

-Μητρώα

-Απλοποιημένα Συστήματα και Διαδικασίες

 

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:30:13 PM - By julia

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:29:21 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη-

Φύση της κρίσης:

-Συνήθως χρηματοοικονομική

-Αλλά και δομική

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:28:16 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη-Έλλειψη οράματος στους Έλληνες μέσα στην Ελλάδα

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:27:45 PM - By julia

“The Greeks no longer dream. This is why they do so well when they leave Greece.”

-Elena Panaritis

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:26:37 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίιτη-Reality Check analysis

Μέθοδος που κάνει διάγνωση του προβλήματος και απελευθερώνει την ανάπτυξη και την ευημερία

 

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:22:13 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη- Οι χώρες που δεν αναπτύσσονται βιώσιμα δεν έχουν βασικές δομές

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:21:46 PM - By julia

“The countries that grow and develope are the countries that have the basic institutions and groundwork.”

– Elena Panaritis

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:19:49 PM - By ariadne

Ελένη Παναρίτη-Θεσμικός Οικονομολόγος

Γιατί μερικές χώρες αναπτύσσονται και άλλες όχι;;;;

 

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:17:34 PM - By julia

Our fourth speaker, Elena Panaritis, economist and social entrepreneur, former member of parliament, alumni of Johns Hopkins, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, takes the podium.

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:14:53 PM - By ariadne

έφη Στεφοπούλου-

-Έμφαση στη σωστή εφαρμογή του Ν4048/2012 για την καλή νομοθέτηση- υποχρεωτική μέσα από το μνημόνιο

-Χρήση του επιχειρησιακού προγράμματος “Διοικητική Μεταρρύθμιση”

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:14:37 PM - By julia

“There is a law that says we need to record how a legislative text is produced. But who deals with this issue until the law draft arrives in parliament? Where does it go first? …Of course, it hasn’t been enforced. Because no one accepts to agree for regulatory planning.”

-Efi Stefopoulou

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:12:20 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου- Δομικές μεταρρυθμίσεις και στοχευμένες δράσεις κατευθυνόμενες από ένα ευρύτερο στρατηγικό σχέδιο

-Πολιτικό Σύστημα: Δαύγεια/ Ρύθμιση πολιτικού χρήματος/ Συνταγματκή Αναθεώρηση

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:10:13 PM - By julia

Major corruption appears in major projects of procurement. Thats major projects in the public sector… the system can not work anymore like that”

-Efi Stefopoulou

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:07:43 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου-Κλειστά επαγγέλματα και πεδία οικονομικής δρασστηριότητας

-Καθυστέρηση απελευθέρωσης μεγάλων τομέων της οικονομίας

-Ρυθμιστική απουσία του κράτους

πχ. τηλεπικοινωνίες

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:03:17 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου-Κόστος γραφειοκρατίας στη Ελλάδα ανέρχεται στο 6.8% του ΑΕΠ

December 5, Europe/Athens / 07:02:11 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου-Δεν υπάρχουν νόμοι που να περιγράφου συγκεκριμένες διαδικασίες

-π.χ. ιδαίτερα περίπλοκη και λεπτομερής διαδικασία για την ίδρυση μιας μεταποιητικής επιχείρησης ανεξαρτήτως μεγέθους

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:59:33 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου-Απίσχναση του κοινοβουλίου

-Κυρωτικοί νόμοι που περνάνε στη Βουλή δεν τίθενται υπό συζήτηση, καθιστώντας τη Βουλή σε κυρωτικό μηχανισμό

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:57:11 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου- Πληθώρα και υπερβολική λεπτομέρεια κανονιστικών ρυθμίσεων

– Παραγωγή περίπλοκων ρυθμίσεων και διαδικασιών όσον αφορά στους μηχανισμούς ελέγχου των δυο συστημάτων

 

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:56:15 PM - By julia

“Regulation is anything that effects our life.”

– Efi Stefopoulou

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:53:59 PM - By julia

“The crisis of politics creates business crisis and vice versa. And when the 2 systems are in crisis, it leads to this social unrest.”

– Efi Stefopoulou, Head of the Better Regulation Unit, General Secretariat of the Government

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:51:49 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου-Απουσία ρυθμίσεων για την οριοθέτηση μεταξύ πολιτικού και οικονομικού συστήματος

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:50:41 PM - By ariadne

Έφη Στεφοπούλου-Η δημόσια διοίκηση της Θεσσαλονίκης δείχνει ιδιαίτερο ενδιαφέρον για την επιμόρφωση των υπαλλήλων της μέσα από σεμινάρια, προγράμματα επιμόρφωσης κλπ

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:06:58 PM - By julia

The speakers are currently entertaining questions, with 15 mins left until the break.

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:04:46 PM - By julia

“Its quite striking with the way that greek banks are loaded up with bonds, as opposed to bonds in other countries…. we’re sort of locked into the state system.”

– Stephen Grey, Special Correspondent, Reuters

December 5, Europe/Athens / 06:00:11 PM - By julia

“It needs persistance and its going to be tough but we believe that now is the time to do it and its up to the public and to us to see it through”

– Final words of Dennis Martinis as he wraps up his speach

December 5, Europe/Athens / 05:51:18 PM - By julia

Dennis Martinis is currently speaking about the impact that increased tourism GDP could have on Greece.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 11:11:32 PM - By DW

Tallying the results.

Yes: 167

No: 128

Present: 4

November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:50:27 PM - By DW

How many more times will we do this?

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:46:31 PM - By DW

Bit more humor, now that we are voting.

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:09:10 PM - By DW

Standing ovation for Samaras from his party. The vote to ensue.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:06:48 PM - By DW

A bit of oecumenicalism.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:04:01 PM - By DW

We are changing!

November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:02:19 PM - By DW

Coming to a climax, a bit of applause.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 10:00:36 PM - By DW

Orama — vision, that is what the great (conservative) Greek heroes had.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 09:57:05 PM - By DW

Received wisdom from the Financial Times. Sounds like they may be writing Samaras’ speeches.

The Greek political class has dismally failed to convince the wider public of the necessity of the painful measures required to bring about the social and economic transformation of the country. Without these steps, the Greek people – for all their aspiration to live in a modern European country – will be relegated to a Balkan backwater. Every reform is presented as an act of self-flagellation exacted by Europe’s paymasters. No party has given Greeks a possible vision of what an improved society can look like. As the Baltics show today, and Finland and Sweden did in the 1990s, radical economic change need not mean political abdication.

It is still possible to salvage the process – if Athens passes a budget on Sunday, and eurozone capitals approve an interest-rate cut and a new tranche of rescue loans. That would permit a recapitalisation of Greek banks and end the insult of a credit crunch on top of the injury of austerity. Next year Athens should be in primary balance. The postponement of any scheduled debt service for the foreseeable future should force the politicians to do their real job. This is to sell to the Greek people the idea of a future lived within their means, and stop pretending to defend them against heartless foreigners.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 09:50:18 PM - By DW

Samaras has been speaking for a while now. The atmosphere in the assembly is dry.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 09:46:53 PM - By DW

Thank god for Greece, or at least for Greek mythology, if the European Central Bank has its way.

According to the Financial Times apparently the themes of mythology can help securitize euro bank notes.

Starting in May it will gradually introduce the new notes, which feature a hologram and watermark of Europa, the Phoenician noblewoman who gave the continent its name. In Greek myth, she was abducted by Zeus disguised as a bull who wanted to seduce her.

“Is there any better figure than Europa to serve as the new face of the euro?” Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, said. He did not say whether the choice had any wider significance for the bank given persistent speculation about a possible Greek exit from the eurozone.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 09:41:58 PM - By DW

Someone just posted this Radio Arvila spoof on #vouli on Twitter.

 

November 11, Europe/Athens / 09:03:02 PM - By DW

Stournaras, Finance Minister, take the floor. Not your average politician.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 09:02:15 PM - By DW

Soon, Syriza will lead a new government to save the people… Samaras’ time is almost up. The people will provide the solutions.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:57:20 PM - By DW

Indeed, @Gyftos1 asks whether Tsipras can speak and tweet at the same time…

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:55:35 PM - By DW

Is there a point to this speech? Not even a call for early elections!

 

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:42:36 PM - By DW

Very flat speech by Tsipras. Almost reminiscent of George Papandreou.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:37:45 PM - By DW

How trustworthy is Greece in the eyes of her creditors? It appears that the Troika now wants the names of some 2000 public servants who are to be let go as part of the measures passed in the Greek Parliament Wednesday evening. As Greek Reporter reports,

“Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis denied the report but earlier told Parliament at one point that the firings were unconstitutional and Greek courts have raised doubts as well since workers are guaranteed lifetime jobs under the Constitution. Manitakis said those who had committed egregious offenses could be let go, the tack that the Samaras government is planning.”

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:33:01 PM - By DW

An air of anticipation in the chamber as Alexis Tsipras takes the floor, casual as ever. Let’s make the bankers rich…

Alexis Tsipras said Syriza refused to enforce austerity measures in Greece

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:29:48 PM - By DW

An image of the demonstrations in Thessaloniki this evening, taken by one of Politis’ local readers.

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:27:32 PM - By DW

REGULARITY! Venizelos’ new battle cry. “I want Greek to be a regular country!”

 

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:24:12 PM - By DW

Best idea on how to watch the budget debate goes to @VasGk: “Διαβάζω το hashtag #vouli και έχω την TV στο Mute. Τέλειο.”

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:14:33 PM - By DW

“Some very big names have been meeting in Berlin yesterday and today to talk up ‘the European project’ — in the process reminding everybody that Europeans are prone to talking any worthwhile project to death, or at least exhaustion.” The Economist Charlemagne blog was not entirely impressed.

Among their number, George Papandreou.

Photo by Andreas Kluth

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:10:05 PM - By DW

A heavy weight has taken the floor (Venizelos). Literally. A great orator, but is anyone ever listening?

Evangelos-Venizelos-007

November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:03:07 PM - By DW

“While all eyes were focused on the US presidential race, Europe has been busy cooking up another fudge over Greece. Now in its sixth year of recession, with spiralling joblessness and an administrative system close to collapse, this is a country in a truly desperate state.”

So writes the tireless Jeremy Warner in yesterday’s Telegraph. “It is in the nature of the Greek crisis that just as policymakers think they’ve put the lid on the problem, it repeatedly comes leaping out again.”

November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:52:09 PM - By DW

From Twitter, a characteristic tweet from Theodora Oikonomides (@IrateGreek):

I switched off Parliament TV. These clowns are not worthy of my time.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:48:35 PM - By DW

Ntinopoulos (ND) on the attack against Syriza. Mumbling in the assembly hall.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:44:35 PM - By DW

Rallies were called earlier this afternoon, but our lady in Athens Krysta Kalahani informs us that the area is now largely clear.

There were protests again… from what i understand not many are left in the square now. I dont know how big the number of people was today though.

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:39:16 PM - By DW

“Greece is boiling.” In their lead article this evening, the Greek daily To Vima is claiming that the next tranche of Greek aid from the Troika is being held hostage to general elections in Germany.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:31:08 PM - By DW

This post is several weeks old already but the conclusions seem sound. The eurozone crisis explained by beer prices.

What we’ve done… is charted the price of beer in Greece (blue), Italy (orange), Spain (red), Ireland (green), and Germany (black). Now this is an index chart; essentially the beer component of the CPI. We’ve set the index to start at 100 in 1996.

The first thing you see is that Greek inflation is WAY above everyone else.

The next thing you see is that Germany has had very little beer inflation since 1996.

Spain and Italy have seen surging prices.

And Ireland (in Green) did once have a huge price bubble, but has now seen significant beer deflation. And not surprisingly, Ireland is seen as having made far and away more progress in its efforts at regaining health.

So really the beer chart says it all: Greece: a wreck. Germany: calm. Spain and Italy: in trouble, and Ireland making a comeback.

The entire European crisis explained by the price of beer.

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:21:10 PM - By DW

A one time lion has the floor. Kaklamanis is tired. Never forget his having a heart attack after one particularly passionate discourse.

 

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:11:17 PM - By DW

Rhetoric in full form. “Greek I was born, Greek I will die!” proclaims Danis Tzamtzis (ND).

November 11, Europe/Athens / 07:05:23 PM - By DW

Fireworks in the Greek Parliament as a Syriza MP attacks the coalition government of Antonis Samaras and the legacy of Pasok and New Democracy, warning that things will change with the government of Syriza following the next election, which Syriza is openly calling for. He adds, ominously, that the people are outside.

The debate is well underway, with a distinct feel of a pre-election period.

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 03:55:07 PM - By DW

A billboard somewhere in Athens. A pouting infant cries “I owe 40,000 euros too? Why?” and former Pasok minister Pangalos replies with his no famous line, “Why, because we ate everything!”

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 03:43:20 PM - By DW

In a story not unrelated to one of the cartoons Politis posted earlier today, Reuters has a spot on story about the efforts of Parliamentary staff to protest measures affecting them.

… having discovered that a 500-odd page draft law of cost cuts and tax hikes included a last minute amendment giving the finance ministry oversight over parliamentary pay, dozens of clerks walked off the job…

The chamber’s workers outnumber Greece’s 300 deputies by more than four to one. By comparison, Britain’s House of Commons has around 1,830 for its 646 lawmakers, a ratio of 2.8 to one.

November 11, Europe/Athens / 03:30:46 PM - By DW

More demonstrations have been set for this evening as Parliament is set to debate and vote on the 2013 national budget. Kathimerini reports,

Public and private sector workers will be rallying at Syntagma Square in central Athens on Sunday afternoon as Parliament is set to vote on the 2013 budget later in the night, with the Communist-affiliated PAME union marching at Omonia Square at the same time.

More work stoppages are scheduled for next week.

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 03:19:53 PM - By DW

November 11, Europe/Athens / 03:19:38 PM - By DW

Parliament has been beset by a crisis of nepotism, despite the crisis. A bit of black humor here as all the family wish each other good night.

 

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:41:14 AM - By DW

Here is a bit of humor to start one’s Sunday morning. Does not need much explaining…

 

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November 11, Europe/Athens / 08:22:57 AM - By DW

Hello and welcome back to Politis’ rolling coverage of key debates and votes in the Greek Parliament in November 2012.

Nick Malkouzis has a good wrap of the daunting set of issues facing the current government of Antonis Samaras, in collaboration with Pasok and Democratic Left. The government goes into this evening’s vote on the 2013  national budget with a mere 153 out of 177 MPs in the three-party coalition having supported the austerity measures required by the Troika to release the next tranche of funding. Kathimerini notes, however, that as many as 167 MPs are expected to vote in favor of the budget.

For all the government’s talk of jump starting the economy, they still face growing unemployment, perhaps the most critical factor in Greece’s current economic predicament. As Malkouzis notes,

The need to alleviate some of the pressure on the Greek economy was emphasized by August unemployment figures, which were published a few hours after the vote in Parliament. They put the jobless rate at 25.4 percent. It was the 39th consecutive month that unemployment rose and means that Greeks are losing their jobs at a rate of more than 1,000 a day.

The tam at Politis will be live-blogging throughout the day, culminating with the vote late this evening.

November 9, Europe/Athens / 04:10:35 PM - By DW

Our colleague in Kavala Ian Kehoe has brought this article to our attention.

Greece is considering the establishment of a 100-strong unit to go after wealthy tax evaders but similar efforts have failed miserably. Out of 5,000 cases of suspected of tax evasion gleaned from Greek bank records, only 334 have been settled. And with Greece’s notoriously slow bureaucracy and judiciary, it could be years before the state actually receives any extra cash from wealthy tax-dodgers.

November 9, Europe/Athens / 11:40:25 AM - By ip-admin

Alternative election and post-election coverage: Foreign and Security Policy

4 More Drones! Robot Attacks Are on Deck for Obama’s Next Term

Bad Night for Congress’ Anti-Islam Caucus

Burma says Obama will visit later this month

 

November 9, Europe/Athens / 10:52:51 AM - By ip-admin

Alternative election and post-election coverage: Sports, Food, Celebs

President Obama’s game reminds Scottie Pippen of Michael Jordan

The NBA had The Jordan Rules. Chicago pickup games have The Secret Service Rules.

Another Election Day tradition fulfilled — President Obama’s basketball game.

 

Nachos For Obama! A Celebration Of Our President’s Favorite Junk Food. The President loves nachos. Food Republic’s on it.

 

Celeb election tweets run the gamut: Rants to rejoicing (pictures)

 

 

November 8, Europe/Athens / 07:53:00 PM - By julia

GOP Who?

There are reasons to think it isn’t: Republicans have failed to win a plurality of voters (or a majority of the two-party vote) in four of the last five presidential elections. The single win was 2004, when George W. Bush was re-elected by the lowest margin of any successful incumbent since 1828. GOP talking points at the time touted Bush’s victory as a historic landslide because the map of sparsely populated counties he won (see above) covered almost the entire U.S. Therein lies a tale…

…If it seems needlessly complicated to suggest that two effects — grassroots muscle and general party branding — have to be invoked to explain the GOP’s unsuccessful presidential branding, consider this: if the only effect in play were the strength of grassroots right-wing constituencies, you wouldn’t expect the party to consistently nominate moderates like both Bushes, Dole, McCain, and Romney. None of those nominees had impeccable conservative credentials — far from it. But once they got the nomination, they didn’t run as the moderates they were; most of them sold themselves as being at least as right as Reagan, even in the general election. At least since 2004, this is because the party has pursued a base strategy: an attempt to eke out a narrow win by getting more Republicans to the polls than Democrats, with independents — a small and difficult-to-market-to demographic — basically ignored. The party tries to leverage its regional identity and regional organization into presidential victory. It has failed four times out of five.

Read more here.

November 8, Europe/Athens / 12:52:21 PM - By DW

Our good friend Konstantinos Bouas has posted this documentary done by Pavlos Tsimas on Mega TV. The subject is the OECD’s report on Greek administration.

 

November 8, Europe/Athens / 12:38:20 PM - By DW

Bad news on the unemployment front, although not entirely unexpected. Athens News has this story.

Just over one in four people aged between 15 and 74 are now unemployed, according to jobless data released on Thursday.
The unemployment rate crossed the 25 percent threshold in August, to reach 25.4 percent, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (Elstat).
This represents a 0.6pt jump on the previous month and a full seven point increase on the same month last year, Elstat said, in its Labour Force Survey for August (pdf).
Young people are hardest hit, with 58 percent of those under the age of 25 registered as without work, up from 45 percent a year ago.
Unemployment remains higher among women (29 percent) than men (22.7 percent).
In real terms, the data translates into a total of 1,267,595 persons without work, an increase of 36,597 people in one month alone.
This means that since August of last year, 351,666 people have joined the dole queues, an increase of 38.4 percent.
The same data puts the number of people employed at 3,726,663 and the number of economically inactive people – meaning those without work but not seeking work – at 3,375,297.
The regions of Epirus and Western Macedonia, where the jobless rate reaches 28.5 percent, remains the country’s unemployment blackspot, while Crete (19.6 percent) has replaced the Aegean for the lowest unemployment rate.

November 8, Europe/Athens / 12:29:13 PM - By ip-admin

“What’s wrong with Florida when it comes to voting?”

Florida voting — what’s the hang-up?

Florida’s voting problems, made famous by the 2000 debacle that ended up at the Supreme Court, haven’t been solved. An election official and a technology expert discuss the issue in USA TODAY.

 

November 8, Europe/Athens / 12:09:34 PM - By ip-admin

Did money talk after all in this most expensive election campaign to date?

USA TODAY provides this reading which indicates that red lost: Deep-pocketed campaign donors pay the price

Spending by candidates, political parties and outside groups is projected to hit an unprecedented $ 6 billion when all expenses are tallied.

Republican megadonors placed a huge bet on red in this election and lost.

Republican groups prevailed in roughly a third of the contests where they outspent Democratic organizations, according to a USA TODAY analysis of races with at least million in outside political activity in the general election. Spending by liberal groups appeared to be more effective: Democrats won two-thirds of the races in which Democratic-leaning groups outspent Republicans, the analysis shows.

 

November 8, Europe/Athens / 11:15:01 AM - By ip-admin

Government coalition party Pasok counts its group of parliamentarians at 26 MPs today.
6 were removed last night after breaking party line:  Kostas Skandalidis who abstained from the vote in parliament, Yannis Koutsoukos, Markos Bolaris and Angela Gerekou who voted “present”, Michalis Kassis and Thodoris Parastatidis who voted against the measures.
Mimis Androulakis declared himself independent a couple of hours ago during his weekly radio show appearance as a guest on VimaFM99.5.

Leading government coalition party New Democracy removed Giorgos Kasapidis.

The third coalition party Democratic Left had a couple of MPs, Odysseas Voudouris and Paris Moutsinas, who did not follow the party line of voting “present” and voted against, but were not removed from its parliamentary group.

 

November 8, Europe/Athens / 10:36:39 AM - By DW

In Spain this bit of news has emerged, as reported in the Guardian eurozone crisis live blog this morning. Remember admissions by members of George Papandreou’s  government that they had not read the memorandum?

Some refreshing — if unsettling — candour from a former director of bailed out Spanish bank Bankia. Mercedes Rojo-Izquierdo, who joined the board at the end of 2010 and was paid €374,000 the following year, has admitted she “didn’t understand anything” when presented with Bankia’s 2011 accounts.

The admission came as Ms Rojo appeared as a witness in at the National Criminal Court in Madrid, which is investigating alleged mismanagement at the bank. The bailout of Bankia is regarded as a major scandal in Spain. Part of the public anger has focused on board appointees, several of whom — like Ms Rojo — had a background in politics rather than finance.

November 8, Europe/Athens / 09:45:21 AM - By julia

Where Mr. Millionaire went wrong (and his party too):

The Republicans were badly battered Tuesday night in the general election.  Without Florida’s results, Obama cleaned Romney’s clock 303-206.  That’s quite a bruising in an election cycle that the Republicans should have easily won considering the miserable state of the economy…

…Let’s start with Mitt Romney.  He really only had to campaign on 3 issues because in politics, the message is everything.  The American people, especially fiscal conservatives to Libertarian leaning types, are fed up with the endless wars, the nasty economy, the corruption in the District of Crime (DC) and mountains of spending and debt.  All Romney had to do to win was pounce on these 3 issues over and over:

Read more here.

November 8, Europe/Athens / 08:57:40 AM - By DW

Athens News has an account of a row which broke out in the Greek parliament last night regarding Syriza, the Greek police, and Golden Dawn.

“A heated argument broke out in Parliament, in the midst of the debate on the omnibus bill, after Public Order Minister Nikolaos Dendias accused Syriza MPs of “impersonating authority” and posting photographs of police officers on the Internet.”

An investigation is underway by the office of the public prosecutor.

November 8, Europe/Athens / 08:52:50 AM - By DW

We identified this trope yesterday morning. Who is most to blame for the poor performance of the markets yesterday, Obama or Europe? What do you think?

November 8, Europe/Athens / 07:49:20 AM - By DW

From veteran political commentator Costas Iordanidis’ column in the Kathimerini English version this morning. Contrast this sentiment to our previous post.

Thirty years of political corruption and entangled interests have pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. It’s high time that the vociferous political leaders who are fighting to restore the country’s image abroad also restored their image among Greek citizens too.

November 8, Europe/Athens / 07:39:59 AM - By DW

Good morning, welcome back to Politis’ rolling coverage of political developments in Greece and the crisis in the eurozone.

Our lady in the street Krysta Kalahani shares this clip and reports from Athens that “the video is from last night… found it on twitter. Anyway, first time yesterday I saw cohesion again among the people from whatever party or different ideologies they came and stayed in Syntagma and the streets around… I haven’t seen this for some time in last protests.”

November 7, Europe/Athens / 11:00:49 PM - By DW

Between a rock and a hard place, or a hurdle and a cliff, as the excellent FT live blog put it today.Not too envious a position for a president-elect to find himself in, but then again, remember the last few months of 2008?

We pay tribute in closing for this evening to the fine work on US politics being done on this side of the Atlantic.

Thank you for staying with the Politis team for US General Election 2012.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:57:29 PM - By DW

Remember to satirical group “Billionaires for Bush” in 2004? Don’t think all the money bags are laughing today, if a reading of Clare O’Connell’s Forbes story today is any indication. What’s million to multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson, after all.

There were plenty other Forbes 400 list members who backed Mitt Romney through his Restore Our Future super PAC — 42 at our last count, or more than 10% of the country’s richest. Between them, they spent over million on attempting to remove President Obama from the White House through that one political committee alone.

Not to worry, however, a few of your richer acquaintances did back the winner of yesterday’s election, Barack Obama…

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:34:00 PM - By DW

Thanks everyone for following our rolling coverage of the debate and vote in the Greek Parliament this evening.  We will return tomorrow and in the following days with more coverage from Athens and Thessaloniki.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:30:40 PM - By DW

Despite the defections, 153 MPs voted in favor, 128 against, 18 present. The measure passes. More to come.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:25:11 PM - By DW

One of the Pasok purgees is old timer Kostas Skandalidis, who challenged party president Evangelos Venizelos for the leadership of the party after George Papandreou resigned.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:19:54 PM - By DW

First ousters of Pasok and ND members voting against the measures.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:19:18 PM - By DW

The Dukakis Center, home of Politis, characteristically organizes at lease one event every Presidential election year on foreign policy and the election. Uri Friedman in today’s Foreign Policy Passport blog writes on the subject:

when you crunch the numbers, the truth is that foreign policy didn’t matter much in ushering Barack Obama to reelection in 2012.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:04:03 PM - By DW

Another no of note, from Dimar MP Voudouris. Party discipline will be on display — or not — in this vote, as in previous memoranda votes in Parliament.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:02:01 PM - By DW

There has been a general impression that Europe and the eurozone would be better off with a reelected Barack Obama. Kermal Dervis thinks the onus is on the US Congress, not the President.

After America’s long, hard-fought election campaign, it is time for comprehensive policy reforms. One hopes that the US Congress will recognize this as well, leading to support for measures that could help hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:56:21 PM - By DW

Bit dated, this, by former Greek PM George Papandreou in the Christian Science Monitor of October 30 past.

My recent experience in dealing with the financial crisis in Greece and in Europe has confirmed my belief that this is a political crisis more than a financial one.

I am convinced that, with the political will, we could have avoided much pain, squelched market fears and stabilized the euro, while at the same time reformed ailing, unsustainable economies such as ours in Greece.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:51:15 PM - By DW

Big no from Glezos…

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:50:51 PM - By DW

The voting has begun.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:48:05 PM - By DW

What would we do if we did not have at least one such article to read every day. Grexit live and kicking…

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:45:13 PM - By DW

Another bit of disorder as the President of the Parliament is obliged to cut one of the members of the government off from speaking out of order.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:41:43 PM - By DW

For those of our readers who have an advanced appreciation of the nuances of American political culture, today’s FishbowlDC has this quirky note on Republican operative and former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove.

If you haven’t watched Karl Rove attempt to throw a giant rotten peach at Fox News’ election coverage Tuesday night, do yourself a favor and watch it here, thanks to Politico.

Rove had predicted that Mitt Romney would handily win the presidential election and threw a toddler-sized tantrum when it started to look like he was wrong. Fox News called Ohio for Barack Obama and instead of commenting on the win, Rove stabbed Fox News in the back by saying that they were calling it prematurely. It. Was. Awkward. It got so weird that Megyn Kelly got up, left the set, and went back into the bowels of Fox News to talk to the Decision Desk, a crew of smart white men navigating the numbers.

Naturally, Rove’s performance elicited reaction from journalists and here we give you the best offerings…

For many tweeters, this was THE media moment of the night. Here’s just a sampling of the reaction. HuffPost’s Arthur Delaney says, “It comes to this: Karl Rove is Sore Loserman.” As Rove dug himself deeper in a hole, Politico’s Kate Nocera tweeted, “Rove is working hard for the money right now,” while Ryan Lizza of CNN and The New Yorker said, “Fox hosts starting to treat Rove like slightly crazy person.”

When Rove actually began arguing with the mathematicians at the Decision Desk, Daily Beast’s David Frum excitedly tweeted, “OK this is amazing: Fox News about to unskew its own decision desk!”

But thankfully it wasn’t just the Washington media paying attention. Standup comic Dave Anthony said, “Karl Rove is now in math prison,” while fellow standup and radio host, Jake Fogelnestsaid, “Karl Rove looks like a gross egg that has a head cold.”

While Rove continued to whine about the results, Slate’s Dave Weigel actually tweeted a picture of Ohio’s GOP victory party, which was — of course — completely empty.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:30:26 PM - By DW

A bit of a brouhaha is breaking out over the speaking time for each orator.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:27:44 PM - By DW

The general debate has been going on for an hour or so now, the leaders of the political parties having already spoken. One of the Communist Party members quipped, “You are telling the people: You either die, or you die badly.”

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:22:14 PM - By DW

Yet another emerging trope in the media today: the future of the GOP. Not merely knee jerk, as the rhetoric predates November 6 by at least a week.

Gerald Sieb writes this in today’s Wall Street Journal:

A campaign year that began with great hope for Republicans, who had ample reason to think they could finish Election Night in full control of all Washington’s levers of power, instead ended Tuesday night with the GOP in a cloud of gloom.

But the GOP are not alone in theirsearch for a new identity, writes Sieb.

Democrats also face new problems as well. They will be compelled to solve difficult budget and economic problems in a Washington where they have no more power than they did over the last two years, when their solutions were caught in partisan gridlock.

Each party, [Newt] Gingrich warns, has only a matter of months to show that it can break out of the old patterns. Otherwise… the old patterns of divisions will persist, and “we’ll just continue this bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball between two failed models.”

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:13:28 PM - By DW

A common trope is emerging, among both conservatives and independents, not too say international observers. Four more years of status quo. Somewhat optimistically, the BBC’s Dick Meyer puts it this way.

Tested and tempered by four years in office, the worst of the economic crisis behind him, and free of the burden of facing re-election, Mr Obama could be a very different leader in his second term.

But the Washington he must operate in is very much unchanged by the results of the 2012 elections.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 09:06:15 PM - By DW

We are still watching the debate within the Greek Parliament, the Vouli ton Ellinon, live on skai.gr. Shades of Andrzej Wajda’s film Danton in the raspy quality of several speeches and interventions. Are we at such a revolutionary moment in Greece ourselves?

November 7, Europe/Athens / 08:54:05 PM - By DW

Winners and losers. Just as we Americans like it. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has these words of inspiration.

Young voters: Long the butt of jokes about their lack of participation in the political process, the 18- to 29-year-old set made a major statement in the 2012 campaign. One of the most amazing stats of the 2012 election is that young voters made up a LARGER percentage of the total electorate (18 percent in 2008, 19 percent in 2012) than they did four years ago. And while Obama’s margin wasn’t as large among that youthful age group as it was four years ago, he still carried 18- to 29-year-olds by 24 points.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 08:48:26 PM - By DW

Welcome to Politis, live-blogging the debate and vote in the Greek Parliament on measures required of the Greek government by the Troika in exchange for the next tranche of financial aid from the IMF, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank.

We are joined by our team of observers and commentators in Athens and in Thessaloniki, and by Pandelis Rafail, our indispensable expert.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 08:25:22 PM - By DW

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on why Mitt Romney lost.

“He didn’t get enough votes.”

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 08:14:24 PM - By DW

A landmark for a unique feature in American political culture, Taegan Goddard’s left-leaning Wonk Wire.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 07:49:38 PM - By DW

The issue of outside spending during the 2012 presidential campaign will surely be one of the most debated aspects of the election. Here is the Wall Street Journal’s take on it, the day after.

Of the dozens of super PACs, interest groups and other independent political organizations operating in the 2012 campaign, none can claim a clear-cut victory, given the closeness of the presidential race and campaigns for Congress.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 07:42:17 PM - By DW

There is a lot to work through in the immediate aftermath of yesterdays election and victory of Barack Obama. We noted previously that Nate Silver and his fellow statistics wonks made a real splash during the campaign. As today’s Bloomberg put it,

Nate Silver was right. The Gallup Poll was wrong.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:11:44 PM - By ip-admin

USA TODAY’s Five reasons Obama won; Five reasons Romney lost

Barack Obama’s get-out-the-vote organization came through, just as it had in 2008, helping the president retain office. Mitt Romney never overcame his image as an out-of-touch millionaire and he lost the female and Hispanic vote to the president.

Credit: David Jackson, Paul Singer, Jackie Kucinich, Jeff Dionise, Tory Hargro, Denny Gainer, Jerry Mosemak, Kevin Kepple, Joan Murphy

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:19:48 AM - By alice

Fox news finds out the outcome of the elections:

November 7, Europe/Athens / 10:06:37 AM - By ip-admin

Canada’s Calgary Herald offers Quotes from Obama’s acceptance speech

and here is CNN’s Transcript: Obama’s victory speech (and video)

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 08:15:39 AM - By ip-admin

Israel’s Haaretz: Obama in victory speech: For the U.S., best is yet to come

Canada’s Vancouver Sun: Obama’s victory speech looks to unite “American family”

Bulgaria’s Sophia Globe: Obama victory speech: ‘The best is yet to come’

India’s ZEENEWS: Barack Obama had both ‘concession, victory’ speeches ready. Romney, however, said that he had only prepared one speech.

YAHOO! NEWS: In what was either a classy move or a huge IT oversight, the website for Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential campaign live-streamed Barack Obama’s victory speech.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 06:08:57 AM - By ip-admin

Euronews live stream:

PBS live stream:

abc NEWS live stream:

PBS Political Map Center:

(Florida still too close to call at time of posting)

November 7, Europe/Athens / 05:15:36 AM - By ip-admin

http://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/266031293945503744/photo/1

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 05:13:37 AM - By ip-admin

https://twitter.com/BarackObama

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 03:09:11 AM - By julia

An American boy at a voting place messes with people on election day.

See more here.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 03:06:23 AM - By julia

American college kids watching the elections.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 02:29:57 AM - By julia

Words from a True Marylander, on the eve of the election!

Going into tomorrow the polls indicate that the election is too close to call.  That means that no matter who wins the Presidential vote, roughly half of American feel let down by tomorrow evening, feeling that the system did not work for them.  I have felt let down many times in the past.

 But is it true that the system did not work?  On the contrary, I believe that it is a testament to the strength of our system of governing, to have continuous rebalancing of legislative powers.  Rebalancing forces cooperation and compromise, and I believe the political center is the most stable.  These elements are essential in a free society and well-worth the painful exercise we go through every four years. 

Yes, I will vote tomorrow.

 Mary Jo Kern, Maryland, USA

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 02:23:35 AM - By sarah

November 7, Europe/Athens / 02:22:26 AM - By sarah

November 7, Europe/Athens / 02:20:28 AM - By sarah

November 7, Europe/Athens / 02:16:52 AM - By sarah

November 7, Europe/Athens / 02:12:31 AM - By sarah

I live in Massachusetts.  A Democratic State filled with people who are heavily opinionated on why Obama should be president.  Obama has always been my number one choice in this election, and I guess it started with my influences.  I agree one hundred percent with Obama on Social Issues.  Gay, Lesbian, Bi, and Straight people should all have the same right to a wedding.  All Americans are equal under the Constitution, and marriage is a personal choice that is protected under the Constitution as a freedom and one of the personal choices in life that should be able to be made equally by all people.  Who is one man to say that two people can’t legally spend the rest of their lives together because he doesn’t agree with it?  People are entitled to their opinions and to voice them, but that shouldn’t effect the choices that people are able to make with their own lives.  Also, I agree with Obama on women’s issues.  A lot of the Romney Campaign’s argument against Obama is that he advertises sexual activity because he supports women being able to receive birth control and have abortions.  The Romney argument also states that by allowing women to have these options means that the government is imposing their view of sex on citizens.  This is completely untrue.  By giving women the option of birth control, they have the option to practice safe sex or practice abstinence.  There is still freedom for people to choose what they want to do based on free will, but by providing birth control women are given a safe way to choose to have sex if they want.  No one is being forced to take birth control, it is just an option that is available.  Romney wants to take this option away.  This means that women who choose to partake in sexual activities will have a tougher time protecting their bodies and practicing this decision in the safest way possible.  Same thing with abortion.  No one is imposing abortion on any woman.  Women just have the option to choose if they want to have an abortion or to give birth.  Keyword: choice.  Obama gives a platform where women have the freedom to make choices for themselves, their bodies, and their livelihood in a safe way.  Romney wants to take that free will away from women.  If he disagrees, that’s fine.  But just because he has that opinion doesn’t mean that millions of Americans should suffer the freedom of choice because he doesn’t agree.  Women should be able to choose what happens to their bodies, not the government.

The social issues were what made me really side with Obama.  He just has such a refreshing view.  Every campaign in the past has had one view I agreed on with one social issue, than another one I disagreed with.  The way I see it is that Obama takes the logical approach.  He leaves his feelings out of his views on social issues.  I’m sure his emotions had a tiny roll, but he takes the Constitution and really follows through with it.  He takes the freedom of choice seriously.  He represents what America is: freedom.

I’ve read parts of Obama’s book, and hearing his thoughts made me want to vote for him even more.  Obama is one of the only candidates I feel that has a grasp on reality.  He speaks his mind, the truth, and his beliefs; and the beliefs of Americans.  Not all Americans agree with him, but he represents what he thinks is best for all Americans, or what will allow Americans to choose what is best for them.  Obama doesn’t tell citizens how to feel, think, act, or what they can or can’t do with their lives.  He supports Americans being completely free.  Also, Obama is brave enough to voice this rather than sucking up to the people for their votes.  I’m sick of hearing politicians saying state by state or party by party what will please people and get them more votes.  Obama keeps it real.  (That sounds clique.)  But really, he does!  He says what he thinks is best for the country, regardless if every single American agrees with him or not.  I think that is why he’s so successful, because he has a great head on his shoulders and he is brave and confident enough to stick to his word and not sway his opinion based on critics.  I want a strong president to represent me and all other Americans, and I think Obama does just that.

Going into these next few years America needs a strong leader and icon to look up to.  Not one single person can really fix the economy in four years, it’s impossible.  But the president can face the problem head on with a plan, to guide the American people through the tough times, to let them know eventually things will turn around.  To me Obama symbolizes hope and change.  Maybe not immediate change, but in the long run.  Change not just in the economy, but in the way people think.  That someday people will be more accepting of others and less imposing of their ideas, and someday that America will be completely free; the way it was intended to be.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:44:27 AM - By julia

A brainy boy’s perspective on the social side of the election:

Social Issues:

I’m going to stop you right here. They’re called rights. Neither you, nor anyone else, votes on rights. Ever. 
At least, that’s the way it should be. 
 
But since it’s (unfortunately) not, I’ll take a second to nullify the arguments against equal rights for all.
“But (The bible/The Torah/The Quaran) says…” 
This country celebrates antidisestablishmentarianism. Good thing, too. Otherwise we might have religion invading politics. 
“But my parents say/said…”
Your parents, or maybe your grandparents (depending on your age), also thought it was impossible to break the sounds barrier. Things change, life evolves, we adapt our beliefs and our knowledge based on new information. 
Man, isn’t science great?!
“But I believe…” See above. Get used to being Wrong.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:23:51 AM - By sarah

Did you vote?

No, the lines were too long and I really don’t care enough to vote.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:23:25 AM - By ip-admin

Reuters/Ipsos exit poll: First-time U.S. voters are supporting President Barack Obama by a two-to-one margin and are more likely to believe the country is on the right track, according to a Reuters/Ipsos exit poll conducted on election day.

More early voters choose Obama in Ohio — Reuters/Ipsos poll report both PhilippinesGMA and Lebanon’s Daily Star

CNN’s take: Exit polls: Top issues for voters

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:19:21 AM - By sarah

Economic Debate BYU Students

http://universe.byu.edu/index.php/2012/09/18/byu-students-debate-economic-views-of-romney-and-obama/

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:18:46 AM - By julia

Oh no! Not voter fraud! Who would’ve thunk it.

Multiple reports of electronic voting machine irregularities have begun to pour in from all over the country as Americans take to the polls today. Voters in Hamilton County Indianapolis were forced to wait for 30 minutes to begin voting because the machines were not working when the polling station opened. The AP reports that “cards used to clear tallies from machines before voting begins were improperly programmed,” meaning that around 500 machines had to be “reset”.

Read more here.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:11:33 AM - By sarah

Romney’s Economic History in Massachussetts

http://www.barackobama.com/romney/economics/

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 01:07:48 AM - By ip-admin

Nigeria’s Channels Television reports on projected results for first five states, calling Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and West Virginia for Mitt Romney, and Vermont for Barack Obama.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:57:12 AM - By ip-admin

Reuters (India) White House race goes down to the wire

and Election Day Slideshow

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:52:54 AM - By ip-admin

The Guardian‘s definitive guide to the ten key US Senate races

Al Jazeera‘s Seven other US elections to keep an eye on

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:41:55 AM - By sarah

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:38:05 AM - By DW

Politis voting American readers can explain their vote here on the Washington Post’s web site.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:37:31 AM - By alice

Paul Ryan gone viral on tumblr!

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:36:18 AM - By julia

The nation is on fire!!! Stop! Barack! and ROLL!!!

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:35:00 AM - By ip-admin

Obama better for Turkey, too says Sahin Alpay of Today’s Zaman.

Pakistani-Americans look within reports Waris Husain of Dawn.com.

Pakistani-American entrepreneur Raakin Iqbal: Remember, I am no official campaigner for the Obama Victory Fund, but I am an American Pakistani who can relate to our community and who attempts to think rationally and this time and for the next four years, that choice is President Barack Obama.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:33:57 AM - By sarah

Obama v. Romney on Woman’s Issues 

Abortion

Obama: Pro-choice. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision establishing a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, and says he’ll continue federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Romney: Pro-life. Despite recent remarks that he has “no legislation with regards to abortion…that would become part of my agenda,” Romney has called Roe v. Wade “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history” and believes abortion access should be decided by each state. (BTW, He later back-tracked on his most recent comments, saying that he would govern as a “pro-life president.”) He also wants to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Equal Pay

Obama: Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which ended the 180-day statute of limitations for filing unequal-pay lawsuits. Supported the Paycheck Fairness Act to make it easier to sue for punitive damages (but it failed in the Senate in June).
Romney: Says he won’t repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Has never weighed in on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Campus Sexual Violence

Obama: His administration introduced guidelines clarifying colleges’ obligations for preventing sexual violence, declaring that schools receiving federal funds must investigate sex-assault charges “promptly.”
Romney: Has not indicated whether he’ll make fighting campus sexual assault a priority.

Birth Control

Obama: Signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requiring employers to offer contraception in their health plan and insurers to cover the full cost (no co-pays or deductibles) of Rx birth control and emergency contraception.

Romney: Has promised to overturn the PPACA and let each state pass its own laws to determine whether insurers have to cover Rx birth control fully. Also favors a bill that lets employers opt out of contraception coverage if they have a moral issue with it.

Maternity and Childcare

Obama: His stimulus bill provided billion for child care and development, and the PPACA mandates that employers provide nursing moms “reasonable break time” and a private place to pump milk at work.
Romney: Says he wants to raise the work requirements for mothers receiving welfare benefits and that he’ll increase federal funding for child care to help make this happen.

Source: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/tips/presidential-candidates-2012#slide-1

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:30:26 AM - By DW

A classic prank headline in Ohio has Romney with an early lead. Markets rise.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:30:09 AM - By alice

Voting even though you live in a foreign country is one thing, voting even though you are in space is another.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:22:42 AM - By ip-admin

The Toronto Star on the importance of the Electoral College:

Q: How did the Electoral College come about?

Q: So who actually elects the president?

Q: How many votes does each state get?

Q: Do the Electoral College electors cast ballots along with the public, Nov. 6?

Q: And if the numbers don’t add up?

Check the answers to these questions and more here.

Romney or Obama: Who is better for Canada? The Globe and Mail here.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:21:07 AM - By alice

Another not so optimistic view… As time passes, more and more problems arise. Is democracy in danger?

“Negative, confusing and wildly expensive as this U.S. election has been, it remains the central ceremony of a democratic state that continues to deserve its name. But the next presidency will see a darker world than the last one”

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:15:55 AM - By sarah

‎You see, that’s the beautiful, wondrous, crazy thing about America: We’re not defined by who’s in charge. We’re not ruled by who we elect. We are in charge of ourselves, and we are responsible for our country. Regardless of who holds that damned office, regardless of what decisions they make, we can change them, we can influence them. The buck doesn’t stop at the president’s desk; it stops here, with you.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:14:58 AM - By alice

Skeptical, yet supportive to Barack Obama the European press. Details here!

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:14:48 AM - By DW

Politico, among others, have started their projections: Kentucky (8) for Romney, Vermont (3) for Obama.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:11:04 AM - By DW

Guam weighs in for Obama by a large margin.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:09:33 AM - By DW

Pundit’s heaven. From New York Magazine.

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:09:26 AM - By alice

Persistant and courageous. Voters affected by Superstorm Sandy set a great example.

-“A lot of people died for it, so we better exercise it,” Mackie said of the right to vote.-

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:08:10 AM - By julia

OMG not the GOP!!!

It’s no secret that the GOP is old, white, gray and dying. In 2008, Obama won the youth vote by a whopping 68% to 30% when he defeated McCain. This election cycle, the youth vote has energetically supported Ron Paul. Could it be that the young really don’t want to march off and die in neocon wars or return home minus their limbs and junk?

The Republican Party used to get by in generals elections because it managed to cobble together a collection of antagonistic constituencies including Libertarians, independents, Buchananites, paleo-conservatives and others. But this paradigm permanently changed in 2006 when the GOP dissidents could no longer even hold their noses and vote Republican. The Democrats took the House of Representatives in 2006 and again won big in 2008.

See more here.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:06:54 AM - By alice

A critical view on… everything. The cynical approach.

 

November 7, Europe/Athens / 12:02:50 AM - By sarah

Washington Post: Obama on John Stewart

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/on-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-obama-defends-libya-response-jokes-about-biden/2012/10/18/27ea5cac-1965-11e2-bd10-5ff056538b7c_story.html

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:55:36 PM - By ip-admin

Apart from the world’s wishlist, UK’s The Telegraph also offers a great poll-map tool. This graphic put all available opinion polls before the races started (presidential and senate) on a map, making it very helpful to visualize and add up the numbers. BBC offered a poll of polls aggregate here.

If you don’t want to do the math on your own (calculators, computers or old school pencil and paper), then USA TODAY or the Huffington Post have map apps still open to your forecasts (math and colors included automatically in a click or two).

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:55:22 PM - By sarah

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:44:33 PM - By sarah

I will say I am for Romney, Obama will just drag us into even more debt where Romney wants to get us out of it and Obama has spent more money than any president ever elected.

-EP

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:43:17 PM - By alice

A child’s perspective on the elections, a compilation of pictures.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:41:57 PM - By sarah

I hate politics. There are too many political adds I’m ready to have real commercials back!

-CR

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:39:20 PM - By sarah

Nov 6. 8:30am. Hingham, MA – The morning has started off quiet. Lines are forming. Emotions are elevated. It seems this year people are more passionate about the candidates and what they represent. It will be interesting to see how the day unfolds…

– Chris Doktor

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:38:01 PM - By alice

Creative and confusing (or disturbing) trends in the 2012 election propaganda, for your amusement.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:36:18 PM - By julia

There is a shipwreck scheduled to happen tonight, folks! Stay tuned.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:34:40 PM - By alice

Why don’t they vote? Here are some answers to this question.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:33:20 PM - By alice

What would those who want less government do? The libertarian view on state ballot measures

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:28:00 PM - By julia

Tomorrow, I will be a poll watcher for Elizabeth Warren, candidate for Senator from Massachusetts. We record who has voted and compare the names to the list of those who have claimed they are voting for Warren. At 4pm,  I will be going door to door, visiting upon those on my list who have yet to vote.

The goal is to get all of our voters to the polls. Cambridge has 40,000 eligible voters who have stated that they will vote for Warren. If we can make sure they get to the polls and actually cast those votes, Warren will win.

This is important to us and to the rest of the nation. If the Democrats can keep their margin in the Senate, or increase it, Obama will have at least one house of Congress on his side. I, of course, am also hoping that Obama wins. Cambridge has much less leverage on the Presidential election, but we, of course, will also be trying to get out the vote for President Obama.

By this time tomorrow, I hope we will be celebrating Warren’s and Obama’s victories.

– Stephanie, Massachusetts, USA

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:23:42 PM - By julia

No matter what happens with the election, we’re all in for one heck of a wake-up call!

“Are the good times really over for good?” asked Merle Haggard in his 1982 lament. Then, the good times weren’t over. In fact, they were coming back, with the Reagan recovery, the renewal of the American spirit and the end of a Cold War that had consumed so much of our lives. Yet whoever wins today, it is hard to be sanguine about the future. The demographic and economic realities do not permit it. Consider. Between 1946 and 1964, 79 million babies were born — the largest, best-educated and most successful generation in our history. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both born in 1946, were in that first class of baby boomers. The problem. Assume that 75 million of these 79 million boomers survive to age 66. This means that from this year through 2030, an average of nearly 4 million boomers will be retiring every year. This translates into some 11,000 boomers becoming eligible for Medicare and Social Security every single day for the next 18 years. Add in immigrants in that same age category and the fact that baby boomers live longer than the Greatest Generation or Silent Generation seniors, and you have an immense and unavoidable increase coming in expenditures for our largest entitlement programs…

See more here

November 6, Europe/Athens / 11:09:05 PM - By julia

Candidate No Name proves popular among many in the US.

Can you vote by not voting? In a presidential election year in which the critical issues have been how much personal behavior the federal government should regulate and how much private wealth it should transfer and consume, rather than whether it should do so, many folks who are fed up with what George W. Bush and Barack Obama have brought us and fear more of the same from Mitt Romney are seriously suggesting that they will express their profound objection to big government by not voting for anyone for president…

…Can one morally vote for the lesser of two evils? In a word, no. A basic principle of Judeo-Christian teaching and of the natural law to which the country was married by the Declaration of Independence is that one may not knowingly do evil that good may come of it. So, what should a libertarian do?

Source Link

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:46:02 PM - By alice

Is voting too difficult or intentionally obstructed in smaller states? Here is a passionate view on the subject.

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:45:19 PM - By julia

A concerned voter’s thoughts, written on the eve of the election.

It’s difficult to vote for the lesser of two evils, and so I will not vote for either Romney or Obama. I will not violate my conscience. I will write in a protest vote.

Published charts show how amazingly similar are the proposed policies of both major candidates and their parties.

As our country hurdles towards the cliff of excessive leverage, debt we could never repay, with promises to care for people that the rules of mathematics inform us cannot be honored, neither candidate has indicated how we are to avoid the cliff. When placing hope against mathematics, mathematics always wins. This election sees our debt-to-GDP ratio now standing at a historically high 102%.

As our country enters the fifth year of hoping to recover from the largest amount of bank, mortgage, and investing fraud in history, all major candidates (even the Libertarian candidate Johnson) have stated that “mistakes may have been made, but no laws were broken” by the bankers. These are remarkable, premature, open promises to the guilty that they will not be pursued even to determine whether a crime might have been committed. And in return, the biggest banks and investment firms have supported both candidates with the greatest sums of money they have ever spent on presidential candidates, with their pre-crash management teams safely remaining in place. The statute of limitations is now running out on any crimes committed. In our last banking scandal, thirty years ago in the savings and loan industry, over 700 bankers were actually put in jail. Now, hardly even one has yet to be accused in court. Certainly, the two crises cannot have been so starkly different, one being caused by crimes, and one by mistakes.

As interest payments received by our retired savers are reduced by the Federal Reserve to meet their “zero interest rate policy”, honest and prudent families are sadly paying the full price to recapitalize the banks and investment firms. The latter lost their money the old-fashioned way: by quickly taking it home. They took the money in the form of bonuses, stock options, and salaries as rewards for taking on ever-increasing risk, which produced imaginary short-term income. We are reliving the hangover of excessive leverage, by which the 1930s paid for the 1920s. We have not learned.

The hopeful side will come from our youth, those who are being handed the bill. Neither Romney nor Obama are young enough; both will try to send our youth the bill for their campaign promises. If the youth are smart, they will refuse to continue our generation’s mistakes, honesty will return, and healing will begin once trust again governs the financial directions of the country. The youth have mathematics on their side: they could never possibly continue what the older generations have started.

But practically, one of the two major candidates will actually win. I can’t seriously “hope” that they will not. I suppose I would best accept it if Obama should win. That way, history will recall that both major parties shared the steering wheel while driving the country off that cliff. Just don’t blame me.

Dr. Scott Kern, Maryland, USA

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:43:33 PM - By alice

Moderates: under extinction

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:40:13 PM - By julia

A rant on politics, from a disgruntled American college student:

Our government developed through the party system.  The parties found common ground and made compromises. Woohoo! But now the parties are so freaking ignorant and against one another that nothing gets done.  The president can’t do anything with congress split in half.  The government is supposed to do whatever is best for the country, but that’s turned into whatever is best for the party. Screw that, we need to sweep congress clean and start over. Eh, maybe not but WE NEED CHANGE. It doesn’t matter who’s elected as our next president because no matter what, he needs to fight through congress. Plus, with the two sides, by the end of his term he will have done something great, and something terrible.  Politics is all talk and mudslinging and complete crap.  All I want visual evidence that you’re helping the country. It’s that simple.

-Mike Carpender, 18, Maryland, USA

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:34:00 PM - By alice

Is violence the answer? Be careful who you tell your political beliefs to!

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:32:13 PM - By julia

More ramblings from a brainy American kid:

Education:
Maybe I’m biased because I go to a public school, but my beliefs are as follows:
Education is just about the most important thing any country can do. It builds the country from the bottom up. A good education system means the country will be an innovator, and will lead the world economically, socially, and politically.
Citizens of the US hail this country as being “The greatest nation on earth.”
Great. Cool. Rad, I’m glad we got that cleared up.
It’s a claim, but there’s no data.
How’s this for data: Let’s make our nation a world leader in education, so that we can continue to be the Greatest Nation on earth.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:30:38 PM - By julia

Ramblings from a brainy American kid who loves Pizza:

Taxes: 
Traditionally, The conservative view on taxes is to tax a small amount of income at a flat rate (Say, everyone pays 20-30% of their income).
The liberal view on taxes, as I understand it, is to tax citizens a different amount based on their incomes(Say, people who have an annual household income of 0-30K pay 10%, 30K-50K pays 20%, 50K-100K pays 30%, and so on), for an overall higher amount of taxes going to the government.
I support the liberal standpoint on taxes because it is, in my opinion, more fair, more beneficial to the government, and ultimately, more beneficial to the people.
My eighth grade history teacher (Right-leaning), explained taxes to me like this: If a poor person and a rich person both get a pizza, the government takes one slice of the poor person’s, and five slices of the rich person’s. The analogy is not only misleading, it’s an outright lie.
Adapting the analogy to an accurate, if simplified, representation of our taxation system, let’s say (for the sake of number ease), that a poor person gets 10 pizzas for the week, and the rich person gets 100.
With a flat tax rate of, say, 30%, the poor person ends up with seven pizzas for the week. That’s enough for one a day, but the family is probably just scraping by.
Now, the rich person gets taxed to same 30%, he or she has 70 pizzas for the week.
That’s a lot of cheese.
Given eight hours for sleep, eight hours for work, and three hours for recreation and other duties per day, the rich person now has two pizzas for every waking hour.
On the flip side, let’s look at the liberal tax proposal.
With the same amount of pizza, the poor person gets one taken away. Nine pizzas a week isn’t a whole lot, they’re still not eating they’re fill, but it’s better than just scraping by.
now the rich person, who is taxed let’s say, 35%, still has 65 pizzas.
That’s STILL a lot of cheese.
In short, the measure of fairness should be taken from what people CAN pay and still live comfortably, more or less.
the government, now having more tax revenue from the ultra-rich it’s taxing, can use that money to stimulate the economy, to build roads and bridges, to help the little guy, if he or she needs a hand.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:21:43 PM - By ip-admin

As Politis ramps up its coverage of the 2012 US General Election we will be sharing with our readers sites from abroad which are also covering the election:

UK’s The Telegraph offers the world’s wishlist

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:18:56 PM - By alice

The thoughts of a libertarian when asked about the elections vol2

“They’re an absolute joke. I don’t know if there’s much more to say. It’s a scripted lie. The candidates are virtually indistinguishable. They lock out alternate parties from the process and put on a show as if they disagree with each other. There is only one party, the federal reserve… Though I’m sure you’ve figured that out already. The entire liberal vs conservative scale is rigged to confuse everyone and draw attention away from the real problem”

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:18:23 PM - By ip-admin

Laptops, notebooks, smart phones, pads abound – happening now at Dukakis Center “Election Central”

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:18:00 PM - By julia

Article by The Onion describes typical young American voter:

“SAN BERNARDINO, CA—According to sources close to high school senior Jeffrey Safran, the 18-year-old’s limitless enthusiasm for casting his first-ever vote has become completely insufferable to everyone around him. “I’m really looking forward to getting to the polls and finally letting my voice be heard,” said the immensely irritating Safran, who made friends and family want to puke every time he went on to describe his excitement for voting, not only for president, but also for numerous state officials and various local ballot initiatives. “Let’s face it, the stakes are higher than ever this time around, and it’s going to be great to have a say in the future of this country. If you think about it, these issues really impact us all.” The excruciatingly smug teenager then added he would be fully content even if his candidate of choice didn’t win because “at least [he] was able to participate in the democratic process.””

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:15:41 PM - By ip-admin

Following international media – happening now at Dukakis Center “Election Central”

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:06:32 PM - By ip-admin

Happening now at Dukakis Center “Election Central”

US Election Watch & Live-Blogging

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:03:12 PM - By alice

A critical view both on Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Is this the time for pessimism?

November 6, Europe/Athens / 10:02:40 PM - By julia

Proud father Obama takes daughters Malia and Sasha to polls to vote in their very first presidential election.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:57:03 PM - By alice

Voters and their differences, as manifested in Florida here

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:47:53 PM - By alice

Is there a chance for difference and does this difference depend on the president elected? Read and contribute here

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:44:12 PM - By alice

The thoughts of a libertarian when asked about the elections

“I personally got pretty disappointed these last few days seeing how little attention was paid to the non-Republicrat candidates. Disappointed enough to stop following the story. I mean, the Greens get the best polling they had since Nader, the Libertarians are at an all time high, and so few seem to talk about it.”

They still encourage people to vote though, that is respectable.

 

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:29:18 PM - By DW

Coloradan Pamela Ruger is also a first time voter. She spoke with her mother frequently about her choice. In the end it was her choice, however. She is a pre-law student at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She says that it felt good once her ballot had slipped out of her hands. Pamela insists that every vote counts as she tries to counter youth reluctance to get involved. She tells her foreign friends that it feels exciting to vote and feel that one is making a difference.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:24:43 PM - By alice

Different perspectives on the issues that will versus that should fundamentally affect the presidential elections here

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:23:04 PM - By DW

Barney Murphy is from North Dakota, Bismarck to be exact. She voted for the first this year.She says that she “kept a pretty even keel”  throughout the run up to the election.It was easy for her to choose. Her state is “very Republican, very conservative.” There is a strong German and religious bent to her communitSy, although shensays that some young people have more liberal ideas. “Nobody comes to North Dakota, are you kidding me!”

Society becomes great when old men plant trees, whose shade they know they will never see. I think this is lacking in today’s politics.

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 09:18:56 PM - By alice

Here’s the weather forecast for the election day

November 6, Europe/Athens / 08:59:19 PM - By alice

Curious about the details on Mitt Romney’s tax plan? Here is an enlightening site!

 

 

 

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 07:20:31 PM - By DW

What is it like to vote, we at Politis often ask. One of our number actually faxed their absentee ballot, all five pages worth, earlier in the day. Easy as pie. Just blacken in the dot corresponding to the candidate (or answer) chosen with a number 2 pencil, like a standardized test.

Apparently some of the machines in use are a little more complicated, as the author of this amateur video explains.

I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 07:11:04 PM - By DW

All roads lead through Florida, we were saying. Polling from the sunshine state has been leaning toward Mitt Romney, by no more than a couple percentage points, however, and not without some polling giving the edge to Barack Obama. The RealClearPolitics average has Romney leading by a point and a half for the week ending yesterday. The turning point seems to have come around the first week of October, before which Obama was consistently ahead in most polling.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 07:02:05 PM - By DW

The IT wonks have really outdone themselves this election cycle. By way of example we share this link to a nifty page on the New York Times called “512 Paths to the White House.”

Caveat: All roads lead through Florida…

November 6, Europe/Athens / 06:57:34 PM - By DW

One of the worlds most indefatigable politics wonks, Taegan Goddard, has this word of advice for all those friends who keep asking who will win (via The Week): “Ignore the exit polls!”

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 06:42:58 PM - By DW

We’ll be hearing from a number of first time of voters as the day progresses. With this in mind we call upon former John McCain advisor Mark Salter for his advice to first timers.

What is this election about? For me, I suppose it’s what every election in my lifetime has been about: how to best solve our problems and leave our children an improved country, where they will have better opportunities to pursue happiness than their parents did. For my daughter, I hope it’s about accepting that America is her responsibility as much as it is the president’s.

I hope she made her decision based on a reasonable understanding of the challenges that confront us and with a rational, respectful regard for the different solutions offered by the two candidates. I hope she is better informed about those differences and the abilities and character qualities of the candidates than I was at her age (or that our hyperbolic political culture and frivolous media appear to be). I hope she voted because she believes human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and make society and the world more prosperous, just and peaceful.

If she voted for the candidate she believed would best advance that proposition; if she voted because she believes America is her responsibility; and, no matter which candidate prevails, if she prays tonight for God to give the winner the wisdom and humility to govern well, then I will be as proud of her as I’ve always been.

Congratulations, darling girl, this extraordinary country is yours. May you help make it a better place more than I did.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 06:36:14 PM - By DW

November 6, Europe/Athens / 06:30:21 PM - By DW

Some good fun here from the Denver Post if you vote in Colorado!

Fans of DC Comics will remember that description as a synonym for Htrae (that’s Earth, backwards), a place that is the converse to our own planet.

Looking at tight polls on a variety of fronts, you can easily make the case for Bizarro election results in Colorado.

Wednesday could dawn with news that President Barack Obama has been re-elected, that Colorado has legalized marijuana and that, with Democrats winning control of the state House, civil unions and reduced tuition for children of illegal immigrants aren’t far off.

Just as easily, we could wake up to learn that Mitt Romney will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th president on Jan. 20, that marijuana remains illegal in Colorado (and that Romney’s Justice Department will very likely take a harder stance on medical marijuana), and that Republicans not only held onto the state House, but gained control of the state Senate as well.

Or maybe Coloradans will vote to legalize pot and give our Electoral College votes to a man who’s never been in an altered state via alcohol or marijuana.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 06:17:16 PM - By DW

Why (in blazes) do Americans vote on a Tuesday? France’s Figaro asks, and hardly tongue-in-cheek. No one else does. Indeed the whole procedure, and not only the famed ElectoRAL College, with which Europeans have become ever more acquainted thanks to the internet and social media, seems so eccentric!

Figaro’s editors have been pillaging the non-profit group Why Tuesday, which was formed by Congressman Steve Israel and friends. We recommend the site too.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 04:54:55 PM - By DW

Government rarely stops, even on election day. Today’s Roll Call’s email Daily Briefing has this laconic two-liner about today’s business in the Supreme Court:

The justices heard arguments in two criminal cases. One is about whether a retrial is constitutional when the judge reshapes the case in the middle of the first trial. The other is about the reach of conspiracy prosecutions when the statute of limitations gets close to expiring.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 04:51:14 PM - By DW

No sooner had Politis posted on how Canadians view today’s election then Margaret Wente comes along with this pleasantly provocative column in today’s Globe and Mail.

How time flies! Four years ago tonight, we Canadians were feeling awfully sorry for ourselves. You’d just elected the coolest, hippest president since JFK. We’d just elected Stephen Harper. No wonder we had leader envy. Why couldn’t we find a leader as progressive and charismatic as yours? Why were we stuck in a cold country with politicians who are as dull and uninspiring as November’s mud?

Today, we wouldn’t change places with you for anything. Canada has held its own while you’ve gone downhill. The United States is flat broke, and so are California, New York and Illinois. Your unemployment rate is higher, your inequality is greater and you have 46 million people on food stamps.

What’s worse, you might wind up with a Republican president again. Aieee!

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 04:46:26 PM - By DW

Hedging our bets,or so it might seem to some. Here is what Noemie Emery writes in this week’s National Review Online:

We don’t know yet whether he will lose this election for the Democrats, but the Democrats have already lost much in their bet on Barack Obama, and will be paying for it for several years. So far, he has lost them their best chance in a generation to build a center-left coalition, lost them their chance to make government popular, and cost them also their most cherished illusions, which may be the worst blow of all. It is all very far from the 40-year liberal reign forecast by his more fervent admirers barely four years ago, and in this lies an unhappy tale.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 04:39:42 PM - By DW

The British mainstream news sites all have impressive pages dedicated to the US elections. We are watching the BBC, the Telegraph, and the Guardian among others. Lots of pageantry, a bit like the British invasion of the 60s in reverse.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 04:02:42 PM - By DW

There has been a lot of discussion about how American political discourse has been moving to the edges of the political spectrum. This is fed by the political parties and their supporters and given credence in the mainstream media. Not so, thinks Thomas Friedman, among others. The fact remains, argues the columnist of the New York Times, that the US is a center-right, center-left country, not a nation of political extremes. The main fault lines in American political culture, according to this analysis, are within the parties, not between them.

By now, it should be obvious how much America is a center-right/center-left country and how much this center — not the extremes — has dominated this election. If Mitt Romney wins on Tuesday, it would be because he moved from the far-right, Tea Party-dictated nonsense that he used to win the G.O.P. primary to the center-right. Had Romney not “rebranded” himself a centrist Republican in the last month, this election would have been over long ago in President Obama’s favor. Conversely, had Romney run as an authentic center-right former Republican governor of Massachusetts from the start, this election might long ago have been over in his favor. Had Obama, though, embraced the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan and run from the center from the start, Romney would have been locked out on the fringes long ago and never been able to pull off his “born again” move to moderation.

 

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 02:30:14 PM - By DW

Some live footage up on youtube already of voters in line outside makeshift polling stations on Staten Island in New York. Impressive.

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 01:49:41 PM - By DW

The greatest ground game in history? A three-page memorandum attributed to the Obama/Biden campaign, entitled Brick-By-Brick: Building a Ground Game for 270, gives detailed advice to campaign workers and volunteers who will be executing “the final phase of a ground game unlike any American politics has ever seen.” Among other things the reelection campaign team have engaged in a full scale training program to “run a campaign worthy of the presidency.”

We have also instituted the largest and most sophisticated training program in political history. Building on what we learned in 2008, we set up a national training team in Chicago more than a year before the election, and then hired training directors in every battleground state to ensure our staff and volunteers are trained to run a campaign worthy of the presidency. Over the past two years we have held thousands upon thousands of local trainings throughout the country on everything from the talking about the President’s accomplishments and his plan for the next four years to hosting phone banks and leadership development.

Needless to say, the memorandum exudes supreme confidence that Barack Obama will be reelected. “Our get-out-the-vote effort – built over years and running at full speed today – is the reason President Obama will be re-elected to a second term and continue to move the country forward, create jobs and strengthen the middle class.

Incidentally, this is the message that the Romney camp has been emailing its supporters:

Friend,

Election Day is hours away.

One vote in one battleground state could make the difference this election. I’m counting on your intensity to help us win.

We have a strong ground game and a clear message that voters are rallying behind. But your enthusiasm’s driving voter turnout.

We have the momentum.

Over 120,000 steadfast volunteers have made 51 million voter contacts, knocked on nearly 11 million doors, and identified over 5 million voters in key battleground states.

Whether you’ve donated your time or money — you’ve already made a big impact.

 

 

November 6, Europe/Athens / 01:30:45 PM - By DW

Welcome to Politis’ rolling coverage of the 2012 US General Election. Our team, which includes voters in several American states, will be watching the events throughout the US on election day and the will report on returns as they become public. We will offer also a unique perspective on how the rest of the world views the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, along with breaking news on other federal, state, and local electoral contests.

November 6, Europe/Athens / 01:23:28 PM - By DW

Welcome to Politis’ rolling coverage of the 2012 US General Election. Our team, which includes voters in several American states, will be watching the events throughout the US on election day and the will report on returns as they become public. We will offer also a unique perspective on how the rest of the world views the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, along with breaking news on other federal, state, and local electoral contests.

November 4, Europe/Athens / 07:45:07 PM - By PR

this is post 3

November 4, Europe/Athens / 07:44:57 PM - By PR

this is post 2

November 4, Europe/Athens / 07:40:33 PM - By PR

this is post 1 under the main

June 20, Europe/Athens / 01:07:23 PM - By DW

Breaking news. An agreement has been reached among the three parties to take part in the government scheme, with Antonis Samaras to be sworn in as Prime Minister. “Habemus Guvernum!” writes skai.gr.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 08:43:46 PM - By DW

As we prepare to wrap up for the evening let us share two ways of saying the same thing:

Alexis Papahelas:”besides renegotiating, the government which has to be formed today or tomorrow — at the latest — will also have to reconstruct the disintegrated state mechanism” (Kathimerini).

Daniel Hannan: “Greece wants the euro but doesn’t want the austerity” (The Telegraph).

What has changed since Sunday, except that Greece is closer to having a government?

With this we sign off for Tuesday, June 19. Politis will be back covering developments in Greek politics tomorrow.

 

June 19, Europe/Athens / 08:30:36 PM - By KK

June 19, Europe/Athens / 08:01:24 PM - By DW

From the recently publish election brief at The Monkey Cage by friend Kostas Gemenis of Choose4Greece and his colleague Roula Nezi:

“The election results largely confirmed the expectation that the electoral law and the polarizing climate of the campaign would usher voters towards the two main contesters, ND and SYRIZA. Each of these parties attracted more than half a million additional voters which translated to roughly an extra 10% of the vote for each… In the end, ND managed to win the election by draw more voters from smaller parties than SYRIZA did. The June result gave ND more seats (129) but the conservatives are still in need of coalition partners…”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 07:39:50 PM - By DW

We’ve not said anything about Italy today, have we. Some clever wag at CNN has:

“There is so much turmoil in Europe right now, it’s hard to know where to focus. It looks like Greek voters have given the pro-bailout New Democracy party a slim lead according to early returns on Sunday, while Spanish 10-year bond yields hit a euro record high of 7% last week, an ominous level that prompted Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek costly and humiliating sovereign bailouts. But amid all of this, Europe’s biggest problem may actually be Italy. The country is simply too big to bail.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 07:21:30 PM - By DW

What really matters, from a note published last Friday by Joe Calhoun of Alhambra Investment Partners:

“For Greece, it matters little what they choose today. If they stay in the Euro, they will be forced to reduce government payrolls. If they leave the Euro, with no ability to borrow, they will be forced to reduce government payrolls. Either way, the adjustment has to fall on the public sector because that is where the excesses reside. If they choose to return to the Drachma, they can print up enough of them to keep paying the public sector for a while but that will only result in inflation that hurts all their citizens, including the ones on public payrolls. Trading riots about austerity for riots about inflation is not an answer. There is no easy way out. Olivier Blanchard said last week that what worked in Latvia would not work in Greece because their labor markets aren’t as flexible. The answer to that  conundrum is not to leave the Euro and devalue but to make the labor markets more flexible. Greece will have to do that anyway so why not stay in the Euro and get it over with?”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 07:06:22 PM - By DW

Success! The Economist wants us to see the Greek economy in its proper recent historical context.

“[Greece’s] economic convergence (not to mention its democratic transition in 1974) is a European success story. Indeed, in escaping the middle-income trap, Greece achieved something that China’s policymakers still worry about pulling off themselves. In the popular imagination, China’s economy is awesome, Greece’s just awful. But the country’s economic record warrants something other than simple disdain.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 06:59:12 PM - By DW

The original eurozone doomsayer is back predicting… more of the same. “Greece will be forced to return to the drachma and devalue, and the default will cause bank runs and money flowing into Germany and the United States as the only viable safe haven bets… Greece will default because there is no other choice regardless of anyone’s politics.” As Andrew Ross Sorking of DealBook points out, the author of these lines, Mark J. Grant of Southwest Securities, has been saying this sine January 2010.

“It will hit the ECB, the banks on the other side of the derivatives contracts, all of the Greek banks who are really in default at present and being carried by Europe as well as the nation, and the Greek default will spread the infection in many places that we cannot imagine because so much is hidden and tucked away in the European financial system.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 06:03:26 PM - By DW

The lead stories on all the main Greek television channels — public and private — point to an impending agreement among the leaders of the three political parties — New Democracy, Pasok, and Democratic Left — to forge a coalition government in short order.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 05:56:15 PM - By DW

Stefanos Manos, the founder and leader of Drasi, has announced that he has resigned as head of the party. The text of his resignation here.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 05:48:39 PM - By DW

Very strange lull in the action now. The talking heads are nonetheless busy as ever.

Here is journalist Takis Michas’ take on the issue of renegotiation of the Memorandum, posted a short while ago on Facebook.

“The new Greek government will try to renegotiate some terms of the memorandum. However if it succeeds the major beneficiary is not going to be the government but SYRIZA. The leftist party will claim that the fact that Greece’s foreign creditors are ready to renegotiate vindicates its policy of blackmail. At the same time SYRIZA will also claim that the concessions that the Greeks may be able to extract are not enough and were it running the show it would be able to obtain much larger concessions from Greece’s foreign creditors.

How can such developments be avoided that will only strengthen SYRIZA?

a) The IMF, EU etc insist that also SYRIZA signs the “new” memorandum

b) The IMF EU insist that the “new” Memorandum be put to a referendum in Greece so that the people of the country can decide whether to accept or reject it.

Both the above mentioned solutions will really place SYRIZA in a tight spot. Another alternative will be not to renegotiate anything but I do not think that this is a realistic alternative.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 05:16:54 PM - By DW

His audience in Vienna may have been shocked, but the conclusions (and their implications) reached by European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny, as reported by the WSJ, sound pretty commonsensical to this auditor.

“The single-minded concentration on austerity policy [in the 1930s] led to mass unemployment, a breakdown of democratic systems and, at the end, to the catastrophe of Nazism…”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 05:01:18 PM - By DW

Our man for all seasons in Athens, Alec Mally, has flagged this interesting article in today’s Guardian, on the impact of the crisis on thinking in Germany. Decisions looming for European citizens everywhere.

“The murmur running through the press is the sudden realisation that what Germans call “political union” may be inevitable. Did we really promise that we would give up the nation state? Did we know that it would take us that far? Are we ready? Do we want it, now or ever? More integration means less sovereignty and more solidarity, but don’t we need a European nation state to provide that kind of solidarity? It’s beginning to dawn on ordinary citizens that the best – or worst, depending on how you look on European integration – is still to come, and quite soon.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 04:57:39 PM - By DW

While we are all waiting for a formal announcement from Athens, let us share a center-right assessment of how Syriza should organize its opposition, from the editorial staff at Kathimerini.

“Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing, anti-bailout SYRIZA grouping have undertaken a very crucial institutional role as Greece’s main opposition party. The country needs a strong opposition and a serious political alternative. SYRIZA has failed to convince voters that it is ready to fulfill this role.

Quite the opposite in fact. When its young supporters chant references to the post-WWII civil war, they only succeed in intimidating the vast majority of the public, who know well the difference between armed insurrection and civil war, on the one hand, and political opposition within the contours of a parliamentary democracy, on the other.

The same goes for the infamous constituents of the party and the various extremist figures who occupy key posts inside SYRIZA.

If Tsipras really wants to be treated as a convincing and responsible political leader, he will have to begin by controlling or doing away with the extremists inside his grouping whose statements and actions have placed them beyond the limits of parliamentary democracy — even by the standards of Europe’s most progressive left-wing parties.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 04:50:54 PM - By DW

Evangelos Venizelos speaking live now. We are watching NET.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 04:33:19 PM - By DW

Some breaking news from Athens, courtesy of Athens News.

“[W]e’ve heard that Golden Dawn spokesperson Ilias Kasidiaris has applied for a gun licence… He arrived at Attica Police headquarters today to check up on the progress being made with his application, accompanied by two more men as well as a priest.

Two more members of Golden Dawn have applied for gun licenses since the May 6 elections.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 04:30:36 PM - By DW

Our colleague Maria Patsarika of the University of Macedonia has this to say about a piece about Antonis Samaras by Richard Zhong in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “Vote for the Idiot. It’s Important,” — “Unbelievable… This says it all,” Maria writes.

Meanwhile, colleagues at Bloomberg have highlighted one of the difficulties now acing the parties in Athens, Samaras’ previous “career stoking divisions.”

 

June 19, Europe/Athens / 04:04:03 PM - By DW

From the darker side, a couple analyses which reflect the desperate character of our times.

In a story posted on the Wall Street Journal blog, GaveKal analyst Anatole Kaletsky has called for eurozone members to push Germany out of the common currency, by forcing a vote in the ECB “for unlimited quantitative easing to monetize government debts.”

Politis’ Krysta Kalachani has posted this interview with Richard Wolff of the New School in New York. “What happens to the rest of Europe if the Greek economy is brought to a total collapse?” he asks.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 03:54:45 PM - By DW

We posted a bit of street art yesterday to give a sense of the climate in Athens before the election. Bloomberg have a slide show with more examples here.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 03:51:23 PM - By DW

Lots of news coming out since our last post.

Euronews reports that “Director Christine Lagarde will now have more money to loan out as the IMF attempts to help countries struggling with debt. Its reserves will now be boosted by 6 billion of funding promises from around 40 nations, a doubling of firepower, and including a billion pledge from China.” What this means exactly for the eurozone crisis is not clear, as most of the money comes from eurozone countries — including Spain and Cyprus!

Negotiations are still underway among representatives of New Democracy, Pasok, and Democratic Left, with Pasok President Vangelis Venizelos placing emphasis on the need to create a “national negotiating team” to renegotiate the terms of the Memorandum with the Troika. Athens News have more details on other dimensions of the talks among party leaders.

In Brussels mixed messages are being sent regarding the European Commission’s readiness to do just this. Recall that yesterday upon her arrival in Mexico for the meeting of the G20 German Chancellor Angela Merkel was insistent that Greece meet its obligations. Olie Rehn has pointed out the obvious, that no negotiation can take place before a government has been formed.

Spain, Germany, and Brussels are haggling over the terms of a Spanish bailout, with Spain claiming that the aid for Spanish banks agreed two weekends ago not be included as part of the bailout package.

 

June 19, Europe/Athens / 01:00:16 PM - By DW

A team of scholars at the European Council for Foreign Affairs have published a new study, “A Europe of incentives: how to regain the trust of citizens and the markets.”

 

June 19, Europe/Athens / 12:02:44 PM - By DW

Vangelis Venizelos speaking live now, on NET.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 11:29:41 AM - By DW

Reports out that an agreement has been reached to form a coalition government with ND-Pasok-DL, with Antonis Samaras as PM.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 11:15:30 AM - By DW

“We just decided on a second programme recently so nobody is talking about a new memorandum of understanding. We are taking about ensuring that Greece gets a government and that this government takes full ownership of the programme and implements it to put the country back on track.” — from the European Commission press briefing this afternoon.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 11:01:35 AM - By DW

A lot of agitation now on different fronts for outright bailouts of both Spain and Cyprus. For the latest, see, by way of example, the Guardian’s Business Blog.

On the subject of live blogs, Athens News has its blog up and running again with regular updates on what is happening in Athens.

June 19, Europe/Athens / 10:41:22 AM - By DW

Never mind the question, “Why vote?” Why even hold elections? This is the implication of George Friedman’s current analysis in Stratfor.

“The more elections are held, the more the public will force their leaders in various directions. More often than not, this direction will eschew austerity and Germany. Over time this will solidify into a new map. While this has yet to happen, the recent elections at the least are not solving Europe’s problem. In fact, they may be further dividing the Continent. And there are many elections to go.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 10:33:02 AM - By DW

Good day one and all. Politis will be covering the attempts by New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras to form a government today.

There is in the meanwhile news on the privatization front. According to a report in today’s Kathimerini English edition, “there will be a change to the privatization fund’s board members to reflect the new political landscape.” Kathimerini note that “Greece’s official creditors are particularly disappointed with the lack of progress in the privatizations, given that the budget had included a forecast for revenues of 3 billion euros from sell-offs this year. Sell-off earnings to date are virtually zero.”

June 19, Europe/Athens / 08:11:36 AM - By ip-admin

Fotis Kouvelis (Democratic Left -Dim.Ar.), said in a statement just now after meeting with Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK), that programmatic agreement is paramount to proceed in forming a coalition government, as is the credibility of the people that will form the new government. He added that he foresees an agreement being reached by tomorrow at the latest.

Venizelos in turn said that he is optimistic after meeting with Kouvelis, as he sees a high degree of alignment in positions and added that along with credibility the people  that will form the new government also need experience, as they will be the negotiating national team (in Europe). He repeated his call to other parties (see Syriza) to be responsible in supporting the crucial negotiations and decisions for the country’s future, even if they do not join the government.

Fotis Kouvelis is expected to have further consultations with Antonis Samaras (New Democracy) later today.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 09:17:15 PM - By DW

We are signing off for Monday, June 18. Join us again tomorrow for additional coverage of the aftermath of the June 17 Greek parliamentary election.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 08:52:50 PM - By DW

A bit of positive business news today from the Athens Stock Exchange, as reported by Kathimerini:

“The euphoria resulting from the pro-bailout New Democracy party’s election victory on Sunday sent Greek stocks to new highs for June on Monday, while turnover surpassed 100 million euros for the first time in 11 sessions.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 580.67 points, adding 3.64 percent to Friday’s 560.26 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 4.29 percent to close at 222.95 points.

Eurobank EFG enjoyed the highest gains, which came to 14.71 percent, followed by OPAP (up 11.79 percent). Cyprus Popular Bank dropped 5 percent while Bank of Cyprus contracted by 3.46 percent.

In total, 111 stocks posted gains, 35 recorded losses and 14 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 102 million euros, up from Friday’s 94.6 million.”

 

 

June 18, Europe/Athens / 08:30:50 PM - By DW

As we ready to wrap up our rolling coverage of the aftermath of the Greek elections of June 17, we share this useful page on the news aggregator Realclearworld.com.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 08:09:58 PM - By DW

In their nuanced lead article today The Independent write,

“The merest whisper of a “Grexit” may have been enough to spook policymakers in Berlin a few months ago but the mood has since changed. Key figures in Ms Merkel’s inner circle now sound more resigned to the restoration of the drachma than terrified by the prospect. Some of them evidently assume that it is bound to happen sooner or later. As a result, it cannot be considered a given that Germany will try to avert a Grexit at literally any cost, even if only at the last minute. Syriza may believe it still has the upper hand with Ms Merkel in this matter, and is holding the equivalent of a gun to her head. But many Germans, and their ranks probably include the Chancellor, now suspect that those bullets are blanks.

In Britain, we also underestimate the degree to which Germany is supported in its hard line within the European Union. President Barack Obama may deplore Ms Merkel’s economic rigidity, as may the French President, following the transfer of power in the Elysée from Nicolas Sarkozy to François Hollande. But Germany is still far from isolated in calling for more austerity with no ifs and buts.

It has allies on this matter to the east, south and north, starting with Austria, Finland, Latvia and Slovakia. Some of these countries have already experienced the shock of tough, so-called “front-loaded” austerity programmes, and none inclines to the idea that Greece should be treated as a special case.

Power may be about to change hands in Athens – but we should not assume it will lead to a change of heart in Berlin.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 08:04:22 PM - By DW

Kathimerini’s English edition blog, which can be read as a wrap of the day’s events, is here.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 07:59:30 PM - By DW

Our friends at Choose4Greece have sought here to determine whether there was a correlation between the outcome of the Greece-Russia soccer game won by Greece Saturday night and the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections (in Greek).

June 18, Europe/Athens / 07:47:47 PM - By DW

MoneyWatch’s Constantine von Hoffman reminds us that bigger fish in the EU pond than Greece have their own troubles. He writes “Greece’s pro-bailout New Democracy party narrowly won a victory Sunday in an election once seen as critical to Europe’s economy. Despite all the attention, the issue of whether the Greeks remain in the euro is now a secondary concern. Its importance has been entirely eclipsed by the increasing danger of Spain’s economic collapse.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 07:44:44 PM - By DW

“When the last German concession was made earlier this year – the creation of a permanent bail-out fund for the eurozone – Merkel pressed for a pact signed among all EU countries except Britain and the Czech Republic enshrining a debt brake into their national law.

But she had to give up two conditions which now she will press for again: countries to be taken to the European Court of Justice if their budgets are not in line with the debt brake and with the goal of cutting debt by 1/20 each year when the total debt exceeds 60 percent of GDP.

Having the institutional structures in place first and only then pouring money in them is the preferred recipe of Angela Merkel and her coalition partners.”

So say the EUobserver in a sympathetic portrait of the embattled German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 07:22:15 PM - By DW

What a contrast France makes with Greece. A new President elected with a clear margin of victory, now with an absolute majority in the National Assembly. He will still have to deal with a delicate European situation.

Here is how the BBC assess Francois Hollande’s position.

“The good news for Mr Hollande is that with this result he can make the tough decisions, without turning to the Greens or more importantly the hard left, the Left Front. But his credibility on the European stage will be determined by his ability to balance the conflicting demands of his allies.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 07:02:46 PM - By DW

Now to temper the joy. Here is what the clever mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has to say today in the Telegraph:

“And now look at what is being proposed in Greece. For the sake of bubble-gumming the euro together, we are willing to slaughter democracy in the very place where it was born. What is the point of a Greek elector voting for an economic programme, if that programme is decided in Brussels or – in reality – in Germany? What is the meaning of Greek freedom, the freedom Byron fought for, if Greece is returned to a kind of Ottoman dependency, but with the Sublime Porte now based in Berlin?

It won’t work. If things go on as they are, we will see more misery, more resentment, and an ever greater chance that the whole damn kebab van will go up in flames. Greece will one day be free again – in the sense that I still think it marginally more likely than not that whoever takes charge in Athens will eventually find a way to restore competitiveness through devaluation and leaving the euro – for this simple reason: that market confidence in Greek membership is like a burst paper bag of rice – hard to restore.

Without a resolution, without clarity, I am afraid the suffering will go on. The best way forward would be an orderly bisection into an old eurozone and a New Eurozone for the periphery. With every month of dither, we delay the prospect of a global recovery; while the approved solution – fiscal and political union – will consign the continent to a democratic dark ages.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 06:58:36 PM - By PR

Young Greeks reject austerity
Student Syrza supporters talk about their anger with mainstream politicians, the bleak outlook for jobs and why Greece should stay in the euro. (1m 24sec video)

June 18, Europe/Athens / 06:55:22 PM - By PR

The G20 are meeting today in Mexico. On the agenda is a final fix for the eurozone crisis. Not everyone agrees…

June 18, Europe/Athens / 06:39:01 PM - By DW

A bit of optimism breaks through the dark clouds of doom and gloom.William Grieder writing in The Nation this past Friday, believes that Europe will emerge all the stronger and more united from the crisis.

“I see two main reasons why Europeans will push forward toward fulfilling the original expectation. First, the present system doesn’t work. The euro provides a unified currency that can be destabilized so long as individual governments are free to set conflicting fiscal policies—borrowing and spending their way into deep holes. Politicians are blameworthy, but the true culprits in this arrangement are the globalized banks that game the system country-by-country, piling up impossible debt burdens for nations, then demanding bank bailouts when nations go broke. That is not really so different from the debt crisis that the deregulated banking system created for the United States.

Second, the imperative for unification is deeply grounded in European history and social reality. Across many centuries, these countries have fought repetitive wars with one another, striving for imperial power or religious supremacy or control of economic resources. After Hitler’s slaughtering reign, the Germans and the French and the others came together and agreed, Never again. They must now create a different future. The alternative would be too disastrous to bear. The process is messy and studded with perilous moments, but the series of new agreements accepting shared responsibility for nations’ debts are de facto steps toward writing a new constitution for the USE.”

 

June 18, Europe/Athens / 06:29:53 PM - By ip-admin

Fotis Kouvelis (Democratic Left – Dim.Ar.) said in his statement, just now after his meeting with Antonis Samaras (New Democracy), that Dim.Ar. is not giving a blank cheque and accord should be reached vis a vis the people who will participate in the new government.

He recounted DimAr’s 7 pre-election pro-Europe, pro-amendment and break-away (from the memorandum) terms.

Antonis Samaras said in his statement that he had a constructive discussion with Fotis Kouvelis that will continue tomorrow.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 06:02:33 PM - By DW

Body language says a lot. The most relaxed of the political leaders while they were voting yesterday was clearly Fotis Kouvelis. It strikes me that Antonis  Samaras and Alexis Tsipras seem to be comfortable in each other’s company, more than any other pairing of leaders. Venizelos appears to be suffering physically, while Kammenos growls a lot. Tsipras was strangely subdued making his public concession last night.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 05:39:40 PM - By DW

“Greek’s politicians know they must renegotiate the terms of their bailout deal, but the Germans are dead-set against that… This is what a standoff looks like.” — so writes Paul Vigna in the Wall Street Journal this afternoon.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 05:33:17 PM - By DW

Worth thinking a little about the enduring appeal of membership in the EU (an the eurozone), despite the ongoing crisis. Simon and Alexis Serfaty write, “The vote was close, but the mandate is nonetheless clear: 71 percent of Greeks favor keeping the euro, according to a recent public opinion poll. Most, if not all, of Greece’s EU partners, including the German government, agree. The Greek vote confirms a trend: Despite the many incumbents removed from power in Europe since the financial crisis struck, no populist majority has emerged as a credible alternative to the mainstream parties. For the 27 EU members, life without or outside the union has long ceased to be an option with wide appeal.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 05:29:01 PM - By DW

Ian Kehoe in Kavala said it first last night: A Pyrrhic victory.

Bloomberg put it this way: “Greece survived to fail another day.”

 

June 18, Europe/Athens / 05:22:22 PM - By DW

The analysis from Kerin Hope of FT, reporting from Athens:

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2012/06/eurozone-crisis-live-blog-27/#ixzz1yANlyDKu

Evangelos Venizelos of Pasok signalled his own party’s willingness to participate in a coalition government by insisting that negotiations be wrapped up by Tuesday evening, after a roundtable discussion of political partyleaders chaired by President Karolos Papoulias, analysts said.

He was due to brief senior Pasok members later in the evening on his meeting with Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy leader.

“This is a bit of a face-saving exercise,” one analyst said. “By postponing until tomorrow Pasok appears less pressured into reaching a deal.”

The same analyst added:”If there’s a meeting at which Alexis Tsipras (the hard-left Syriza leader who has refused to participate in a cross-party government) is present, it will be an opportunity to show him up as non-cooperative and exact some revenge.”

Syriza took an estimated 30 per cent of Pasok’s voter base away at the Sunday poll, leaving Pasok with just 12.2 per cent of the vote.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 05:17:20 PM - By DW

Alec Mally of Foresight Strategy and Communication notes,

“The Economist Intelligence Unit – EIU wrote: Greece looks set to form a government that is pro-austerity. But does that really change the course of the eurozone crisis? Is it going to continue as it has done for years now? Or can you see the markets rounding on Spain and/or Italy to push them to seek bailouts to force a faster solution to the crisis?”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 04:25:22 PM - By DW

A compilation of views on yesterday’s election from German newspapers here.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 04:15:00 PM - By DW

More on the meeting between Samaras and Venizelo.

1. Joint request to President Papoulias to call party leaders to meet with invitation to join coalition Tuesday at noon. No mention of names.

2. Create government by late Tuesday.

3. Pasok will not bear burden again of governing (or co-governing) without additional support from other parties. Samaras and Kouvelis may meet Tuesday morning.

 

 

June 18, Europe/Athens / 04:05:26 PM - By ip-admin

 

Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK) said in his statements, just now after his meeting with Antonis Samaras (New Democracy), that the country needs a government immediately, ideally by tomorrow.

The ideal scenario he said would have been the 4 parties he spoke of yesterday (ND, PASOK, Democratic Left and Syriza), but calls Tsipra’s statements today after his meeting with Samaras democratically provocative.

Now our aim, Venizelos said, is the highest degree of cooperation possible and ideally to form a government by tomorrow.

Venizelos suggested we move to the second phase of the constitutional process that is the summit of the political leaders under the auspices of the President of the Republic.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 03:57:44 PM - By DW

Merkel: Nein!

June 18, Europe/Athens / 03:56:29 PM - By DW

According to SKAI, former Greek PM Kostas Simitis (Pasok) is calling for a coalition featuring New Democracy, Pasok, and Democratic Left.

 

June 18, Europe/Athens / 03:48:59 PM - By DW

Predominant sentiments outside Greece suggest that 1) Greece is still not master of its fate; and 2) the crisis in the eurozone is far from over, at least as far as markets are concerned. “[W]hen it comes to Greek politics – and European economic policy,” note Paul Wiseman and Joshua Freed of the AP, “it’s never that easy. So the bumpy ride for financial markets isn’t over yet.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 03:30:05 PM - By DW

Discussion now on Greek NET tv on the likelihood of the creation of a technocratically flavored government with support of ND and Pasok, among others.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 02:09:25 PM - By DW

As the Guardian notes, there have been mixed messages from Greece’s eurozone partners whether a new Greek government could expect to renegotiate the terms of the Memorandum.

“Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said the ‘timeframe’ might be up for debate, and Steffen Kampeter, his deputy, said Greece should not be ‘over-strained.’ But a German government spokesman said now was not the time to give Greece ‘a discount.’ Meanwhile the Austrian chancellor, Werner Faymann, said the eurozone needed to ‘give the Greeks room to breathe,’ and a spokesperson for the 17 eurozone countries said: ‘The Eurogroup expects the [EU and IMF] institutions to return to Athens as soon as a new government is in place to exchange views with the new government on the way forward.'”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 01:58:21 PM - By DW

“My biggest fear is of a social explosion…” Not much in the way of celebration among New Democracy faithful according to news reports.

Reuters notes that while “New Democracy may have come first in Sunday’s Greek election but the radical left anti-austerity SYRIZA bloc was celebrating like the real winner well into the warm Athens night.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 01:22:05 PM - By ip-admin

Finally the country’s electoral map at 100% of the electoral precincts having reported in.
Numbers worth noting: -Abstention rate at around 37,5% (highest in recent memory) -the percentage of votes cast at just under 6%, which did not gain representation in parliament because of the 3% nationwide electoral threshold -the percentage of invalid/blank ballots at just under 1% (lowest in recent memory).

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:49:48 PM - By DW

A reminder of Antonis Samaras’ famous Cretan vendetta against the Mitsotakis family. Samaras welcomed Dora Bakogiannsi, daughter of former ND PM Konstantinos Mitsotakis (whose government Samaras left in 1992 over the Macedonian question) back into the New Democracy fold a few weeks before the June 17 election. Bakogiannis had been expelled after defying the party line imposed by ND leader Samaras and voting in favor of the first Memorandum with the Troika, after which she briefly led her own party, Democratic Alliance.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:44:15 PM - By DW

There was a lot of clamor in Greece over the endorsements coming out of Europe for pro-bailout parties in the June 17 election. Curiously, no one seems to have anything to say about this editorializing in the Economist regarding the presidential election in Egypt.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:41:48 PM - By DW

In brief, the pledges Greece has made to the Troika, courtesy of the BBC:

  • Cut 15,000 state sector jobs this year – aiming for 150,000 to be cut by 2015
  • Cut minimum wage by 22%, to about 600 euros a month
  • Pension cut worth 300m euros this year
  • Spending cuts of more than 3bn euros this year
  • Liberalise labour laws to make hiring and firing easier
  • Boost tax collection
  • Carry out privatisations worth 15bn euros by 2015
  • Open up more professions to competition, eg in health, tourism and real estate
  • Greece aims to cut its debt burden to 116% of GDP by 2020

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:38:54 PM - By DW

More Weimar

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:34:15 PM - By DW

Nikos Magopoulos, our man about town in Thessaloniki writes, “I think that whatever government comes out will be temporary. There are already some scenarios about elections taking place in November. Tsipras came out having a relief about the second place, because they were not ready. Thirdly, I think it will be difficult for the other parties to accept Samaras at the Prime Minister role, so I’m not so sure about forming a government so easily.”

Seems like a lot of readers are already thinking about a third round of elections here in 2010…

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:19:46 PM - By DW

A little black sports humor from Gideon Rachman at FT (12:56 entry):

“Much to everyone’s surprise, Greece are still in Euro 2012, having survived the tournament’s group stages to progress to the quarter finals. To no one’s surprise, Germany are still there too.

The Greek manager is, we hear, planning to soak up German pressure in the early stages then come out attacking in the second half, pushing hard down both left and right flanks. His German counterpart is rumoured to be insisting that Greece should be disqualified from the competition on account of their poor disciplinary record…”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 12:15:29 PM - By DW

To complement our earlier post of the White House press release last night is this analysis from Politico.

“What the White House wants is shock and awe. What it has mostly gotten so far is kick the can down the road, and not very far.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:52:26 AM - By ip-admin

Antonis Samaras (New Democracy) in his statement after meeting with Alexis Tsipras (Syriza), has just reiterated his intent to try to form a coalition government as the country needs a government as soon as possible. Samaras will proceed to meet with leaders of the parties next in line.

Samaras confirmed that Tsipras said he will not take part in a government of national unity and that he would even return/deny Syriza’s second in line Presidential Order to try to form a government.

You can see Samaras’ statement after meeting here (in Greek), and his victory speech last night here (in Greek and then in English after min. 04:40, yet with a bit of voice-over noise).

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:46:28 AM - By DW

Hans-Werner Sinn has this to say in an interview with Deutsche Welle:

“First, we will have to wait and see what outcome the election brings in Greece. In any case, there will be a new Greek government which will have to negotiate with the EU. Then, some agreement will be reached. Probably, the EU will give in to the Greeks again. It is always that way. But, they won’t be giving in as much to make the Greeks really happy. It is going to become more and more painful for all the participants.

At some point the Greeks will say: we cannot continue with the euro and instead we will reintroduce the drachma. The drachma will then be devalued and Greece can become competitive again…”

Sinn is but one of many voices which claim that Greece will still have to leave the eurozone, regardless what government is formed this week.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:42:26 AM - By ip-admin

Runner-up Alexis Tsipras (Syriza) has just, as expected, denied to take part in a coalition government in his statement after meeting with Antonis Samaras (New Democracy). Tsipras just said that he told Samaras he believes in the constitutional role of an opposition to a government, which he wants for his party.

It is worth noting that while answering a question after his statement, Tsipras said that if New Democracy does not succeed in forming a government with its (first in line) Presidential Order to form one, he will return/deny his party’s Order (second in line) to form a government.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:39:47 AM - By DW

Berlin-based businessman Edrin Kondi, who lived and studied in Thessaloniki for a number of years, has shared these observations with Politis:

“I have not been following the situation in Greece too closely, so I am not sure I have a well defined opinion myself. I checked the results this morning and don’t really know whether to be happy that Greece will continue to stay in the Eurozone (at least so it seems), or sad that they will still have to deal with possibly harsher austerity measures.

Personally, a strong Euro interests me for two reasons. First, as I’m currently working in Germany and my savings are in Euros, I see favorably Greece’s continuation inside the Eurozone, considering it’s exit would sent shockwaves throughout the markets and decrease the value of the Euro. Second, as an Albanian, considering that most remittances in Albania come from Greece and Italy, I also consider Greece’s continuation in the Eurozone as favorable for the Albanian economy, as opposed to a return to Drachma and it’s devaluation to make Greek products and services more attractive, but decreasing the value of remittances that enter Albania as a result.

Also on this point, if Greece would successfully exit, Italy could follow suit, adopting the same currency switch and devaluation measures, further lowering the value of remittances to Albania. So, from a very selfish or even a broader Albanian point of view if you wish, Greece’s stay in the Eurozone is a more desirable solution, at least in the short term.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:27:31 AM - By DW

Leon Saltiel has asked on facebook, tongue in cheek, whether Antonis Samaras has finally brought a “political spring” to Greece (PS was the name of the short-lived party Samaras created in the early 1990s after he split from the government of Konstantinos Mitsotakis over the Macedonian issue).

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:19:12 AM - By DW

Election results are in; alas the gloom mongers have not gone away. According to a report cited in the Guardian’s Business Blog, “Think tank Open Europe estimates that the EU countries have a total exposure of €552bn to the Greek economy. This comes through various sources including the two direct bailouts, central bank lending (ECB monetary policy, ECB Securities Markets Programme, Target 2 and Emergency Liquidity Assistance) and exposure of these countries’ banking sectors to Greece. This has increased by a massive 67% since June 2011.”

Meanwhile, Nicholas Hastings at the Wall Street Journal proclaims that the “Greek Results Will Kill the Euro.”

 

June 18, Europe/Athens / 11:09:06 AM - By DW

Will this man finally be Greece’s next Prime Minister?

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June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:58:42 AM - By DW

Comprehensive coverage (in English) of yesterday’s legislative run off elections in France on France24.com.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:47:07 AM - By DW

The government in Cyprus is breathing a sigh of relief this morning according to this report from Reuters.

“Greece’s election has pulled its smaller neighbor Cyprus back from the precipice – for now,” report Michele Kambas and Peter Graff, “but Nicosia still has urgent work to do to rescue its banking sector if it is to avoid becoming the next casualty of the euro zone crisis.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:42:09 AM - By DW

The live blogs of the international press are working full time to digest yesterday’s results of elections in Greece and France, and the markets’ response thereto. Here are a few from the big players:

* Gideon Rachman’s The World at the Financial Times.

* The Business Blog at the Guardian.

* The Wall Street Journal’s European Debt Crisis blog.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:32:51 AM - By DW

We have posted a poll with the following question on the home page of Politis:

“Do you believe a coalition government should be formed?

* Yes, political parties should learn to cooperate.

* No, I want new elections.

* Don’t care, I didn’t vote.

* Don’t know.”

Take the poll and see how your compatriots feel about it.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:29:40 AM - By DW

Here is the text of the White House statement issued last night, from the US Embassy Athens facebook page.

“White House: We congratulate the Greek people on conducting their election in this difficult time. We hope this election will lead quickly to the formation of a new government that can make timely progress on the economic challenges facing the Greek people. As President Obama and other world leaders have said, we believe that it is in all our interests for Greece to remain in the euro area while respecting its commitment to reform. Going forward, we will engage Greece in the spirit of partnership that has guided our alliance and the friendship between our people.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:27:18 AM - By DW

Krysta Kalachani in Athens mused late into the night last night,

“I guess fear won at the end… Right? But the ones abstaining are the angry ones. We just have to wait and see.

The scenario we were talking about before last elections and when these elections were announced, that a govt. would be formed with new democracy and pasok (and other parties, that many call them mnimoniaka kommata) is here. The next thing is that this govt will “push” people to get out in the streets again. I am expecting Athens burning again at some point. I cannot estimate if it is going to be now or September-October. Would anyone be willing to predict a third round? Goodnight!”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:20:10 AM - By ip-admin

This is how the electoral map looks like just after 12 noon with virtually 100% of the electoral precincts having reported in.
Around the same hour the President of the outgoing Hellenic Parliament, Vyron Polydoras, reported these same results to the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, thus setting in motion the constitutional process for the formation of a government.

Soon after, Acting (caretaker) Prime Minister, Panagiotis Pikrammenos, visited the President of the Republic to tender his resignation. Karolos Papoulias did not accept his resignation, asking Mr Pikrammenos to stay on until a new government is actually formed, as the country must not be left without a government even for a moment.

What immediately follows is the visit to the President of the Republic of the leader of the political party that finished first, Antonis Samaras of New Democracy, in order to receive orders to form a government. He is expected to start consultations with the other party leaders, in order of percentages received, soon.

Numbers worth noting are the Abstention rate: around 37,5% and the percentage of votes cast that will lay unrepresented in parliament at just under 6%, because of the 3% nationwide electoral threshold.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:15:18 AM - By DW

From our source at the European Parliament a press packet from the Office of President Schulz (pdf file).

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:05:33 AM - By DW

We compared privatization initiatives in Greece and Italy last night. Ioannis Koukiades, who is charge of the Greek operation, is speaking live now on Greek SKAI TV.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:02:22 AM - By DW

Meanwhile, European Parliament President Martin Schulz has made the following statement on the results on parliamentary elections in Greece:

“I welcome the results of the general elections in Greece. The results show a broad and clear support in favour of Greece staying in the euro zone.

I salute the efforts of the Greek people to overcome the crisis. They have made great sacrifices. I hope the burden of the reforms will be spread more equally to achieve greater social justice.

I hope that Greece will rapidly form a government that breaks the political deadlock and pursues the required reforms to overhaul the economy and Greek public finances. The Greek people deserve a stable and prosperous future.

I congratulate Antonis Samaras and his New Democracy party for winning the elections and I encourage the Greek political forces to form a responsible coalition government in the coming days.

I am particularly pleased with New Democracy’s declaration that they will broadly stick to commitments Greece has made to the European Union.

The new Greek government will be able to count on our constructive cooperation in possible fine-tuning of its reform strategy and economic targets. If Greece sticks to its commitments, the EU can examine what could be done further to solve the crisis.”

June 18, Europe/Athens / 10:00:29 AM - By DW

Here is the text of the Eurogroup statement issued last night:

17 June 2012

Eurogroup statement

The Eurogroup takes note of the provisional results of the Greek elections on
17th June, which should allow for the formation of a government that will carry
the support of the electorate to bring Greece back on a path of sustainable
growth.
The Eurogroup acknowledges the considerable efforts already made by the
Greek citizens and is convinced that continued fiscal and structural reforms
are Greece’s best guarantee to overcome the current economic and social
challenges and for a more prosperous future of Greece in the euro area.
The Eurogroup reiterates its commitment to assist Greece in its adjustment
effort in order to address the many challenges the economy is facing.
The Eurogroup therefore looks forward to the swift formation of a new Greek
government that will take ownership of the adjustment programme to which
Greece and the Eurogroup earlier this year committed themselves.
The Eurogroup expects the Troika institutions to return to Athens as soon as a
new government is in place to exchange views with the new government on
the way forward and prepare the first review under the second adjustment
programme.

June 18, Europe/Athens / 09:58:45 AM - By DW

Maria Patsarika of the University of Macedonia asks a question that has been on the tip of many people’s tongues: who won out of this really?

June 18, Europe/Athens / 09:52:21 AM - By PR

Hello everyone and welcome back to Politis’ rolling coverage of the June 17, 2012 parliamentary elections in Greece.

We will be posting throughout the day as we follow attempts by New Democracy and the other parties to forge a viable coalition government.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 09:14:06 PM - By ip-admin

Thanks to the efforts of Pandelis Rafail who captured the image this is how the electoral map looks like just before midnight. Some numbers worth noting are the Abstention rate of around 38%, the percentage of votes cast that will lay unrepresented in parliament at just under 6%, because of the 3% nationwide electoral threshold.

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June 17, Europe/Athens / 08:20:00 PM - By DW

And that’s it! The thriller turned out to be a bit of a dud.

Politis will return tomorrow to cover the attempts of the parties to forge a coalition government. Good night one and all and thanks for your support!

June 17, Europe/Athens / 08:14:28 PM - By DW

Kostas Gemenis of Choose4Greece posted this on Facebook earlier this evening:

“It seems that there are about 400,000 people who voted for the Nazi party in Greece. We said that they might not have known what they voted for in the May election but now they have no excuse. Today they were were aware that they were voting for a national-socialist party.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 08:02:45 PM - By DW

Based on figures from the Ministry of the Interior, the abstension rate today was a little more than 37%, while another 1% of votes case were either blank or invalid. It would seem that projections made by Politis’ Dimitris Diamantis and myself were accurate, and represent a troubling development in the democratic system in this country.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 08:01:04 PM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:39:04 PM - By DW

“‘Eleni” tweets: “Is democracy still functioning when 50% of Greeks have not voted for either of the two contending parties?” — @EleniSou92

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:35:27 PM - By DW

Our friend Simon Bensasson, former senior officiat the European Commission, writes,

“Here’s my take on the situation:

It looks like a government is able to be formed; tomorrow even. This would, naturally, be led by ND as the first party who should try to get as many of the other parties in as possible. The need for inclusiveness comes from the lack of absolute majority in the difficult period ahead and the fact that even a government with ND, PASOK and DL in it would represent less that 50% of the voters – the remainder being strongly anti-memorandum, as opposed to DL who is only mildly anti-memorandum.

There are some obstacles to be overcome, and we shall probably see clearer by the end of tonight – or in the early morning hours, assuming discussions start immediately, if the have not already started. The first obstacle is PASOK whose Venizelos state that they would only cooperate in an “ecumenical” government, which would includ both ND and Syriza, a proposal that Syriza is nearly certain to reject. The second is DL who have stated that they would cooperate with any government under the leadership of someone who is “unsullied”, the definition of “sullied” interpreted to include Mr Samaras. This is a leadership which Mr Samaras is unlikely to forfeit

Having said this, I believe that a government with at least the two parties ND and PASOK (161/300 seats) could almost be taken for granted and the inclusion of DL could be considered likely even if it only means a tolerance vote. I think the inclusion of the independent Greeks party would be a big mistake as it would introduce uneeded contradictions but this is the kind of mistake that if it came from Mr Samaras would not be surprising. I’d hate to be in Mr Venizelos’ shoes if this were to happen.

All in all a government on Monday (or Tuesday) is likely. The question is what comes after? In one of the panels – Mr Stratakis, one of the more serious Syriza candidates stated that as Syriza would have been a responsible government, so it would be a responsible opposition. Ideally, Syriza should let the new government run for the fulll term – or for as long its internal forces allow it to run – and take its chances again in the next election. It will get better but it may get worse before it does so – especially if the problems in Europe as a whole deteriorate. The people have to be united over this period and this may be a tall order with parties like golden dawn rising the way they do. The responsible position of Syriza is a sine qua non.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:33:01 PM - By DW

A young second-time voter shared with Politis these rather detailed reflections on how she decided whom to vote for today.

“In my view, no matter how corrupt some people might be, there must have been more important reasons as to why Greece has reached a trough. I wouldn’t vote for someone had not known whether we should stay in  the Eurozone or not just two weeks ago.

I was asked ‘If this bad management and disallocation of money are not the reasons we got here, what is?’  Well these big parties have nothing to do with this SYRIZA guy, who didn’t even had a schedule til late May. I understand that New Democracy can be blamed as well for this situation, but the words of a populist who has never worked in his entire life do not really touch me. What does all this matter if we exit the Eurozone? How are we going to borrow money for the pensions and wages and debts? How do we import drugs and food? We can only cover around 17% of our needs. We can’t have both money and the absence of the memorandum. Without the memorandum we’re going to go through a second ‘occupation,’ ‘κατοχή,’ as we say in Greek, which implies hunger and poverty under a yoke. Kids can ask their grandparents if they went through the German occupation, and they can tell them what it’s like to wait in a queue for some bread and milk, having no heat, no drugs and no water. My grandmother told me all this…”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:24:02 PM - By DW

Some interesting developments in France today also. Here is the site of Le Monde with lots of graphics.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:08:30 PM - By DW

Syntagma to flood with supporters. Samaras heading to zappeion for victory speech.

Anthee Carassava‏@antheecarassava

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:02:12 PM - By KK

Just returning to Athens from Corinth. For a bit of context I recommend Stathis Kalyvas’ article in Foreign Affairs.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:55:34 PM - By ip-admin

Acting Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis, a few minutes ago just before 9:30pm gave the floor to Singular Logic’s (the company running the Safe Result Relay System for the Interior Ministry) General Manager to report their First Official Estimate on Results.

She gave the following estimated numbers based on results from 18% of electoral precincts:

Percentage of parties receiving votes not meeting the electoral threshold of 3 per cent: around 4% of votes

7 Party Parliament (with the same parties as in the 6May election)

New Democracy (center-right): 29,53% and 128 seats

Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left): 27,12% and 72 seats

PASOK (center-left PanHellenic Socialist Party): 12,3% and 33 seats

Anexartitoi Ellines (right-wing Independent Greeks party): 7,6% and 20 seats

Xrysi Augi (fascist-neonazi Golden Dawn party): 7% and 18 seats

Dimokratiki Aristera (Democratic Left): 6,2% and 17 seats

KKE (Communist Party): 4,5% and 12 seats

 

Earlier than this and around 9pm the more conclusive exit polls from the pooled resources of most Greek TV channels gave the following estimates:

New Democracy: 28.6 – 30%

Syriza: 27 – 28.4%

PASOK: 11 – 12.4%

Anexartitoi Ellines: 6.8 – 7.8%

Xrysi Augi: 6.5 – 7.1%

Dimokratiki Aristera: 5.8 – 6.6%

KKE: 4.8 – 5.6%

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:45:36 PM - By DW

This just reported on Reuters via the BBC:

“German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Westerwelle has signalled Greece may get small concessions from the eurozone but nothing like a full renegotiation of its bailout terms. ‘There can’t be substantial changes to the agreements but I can imagine that we would talk about the time axes once again,’ he is quoted by Reuters as saying on German TV.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:36:59 PM - By DW

More streaming coverage in English on euronews.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:18:56 PM - By DW

We heard from one of our colleagues in London about his not being able to case an absentee ballot. Euronews has this story about French expats in London now having their own MP.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:08:12 PM - By DW

The BBC is live-blogging now also.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:00:02 PM - By DW

Just out from the folks at Reform Watch:

“… We suggest that the majority of the Greek people are reacting normally to a structural reform program that has few if any visible ‘up front’ benefits.  Building a domestic constituency for reform will be a long process, but up to now the issue has been a clear lack of justice, giving the population no stake.  Tax increases alienated a large segment of the population early on.  Finally, horizontal cuts in wages and pensions, a choice made by the Papandreou-led PASOK government itself, spread the pain across many layers of Greek society instead of the appropriate target, the bloated public sector.  The Troika should not have accepted PASOK’s ‘job-preservation is paramount’ arguments, since this shifted the pain of adjustment heavily onto the already overburdened private sector and hastened the collapse in economic activity, while barely reducing the Greek state’s revenue requirements.

This could be changed, and quickly, if leaders decided that the missing sense of justice would be addressed as a priority.  Any of these ideas could have been attempted in the last two years and would have reduced the rage we are seeing today, in addition to producing some visible evidence that things could change for the better and that crime did not pay…”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:56:40 PM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:50:30 PM - By DW

Our good friend Fabio Liberti, Research Director at the Institute de Relations Internationales et Strategiques in Paris, has this to offer from the perspective of European security:

“Seen from Paris everyone is very worried about the outcome of the ballots. Also if national medias focus on French parlamentary elections, everyone knows that starting from tomorrow austerity (or rigor as medias says) will be needed in France too. A Greek default or a grexit would makes things even more difficult and adds some drama at the European Council of the end of the month. More generally I think that Greece is the mirror of Europe’s future difficulties. Political leaders lied to citizens who demand today radical changes. This will happen in other countries, so we will need to explain why Europe, why solidarity, are important.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:43:18 PM - By DW

Here is a statement from the office of European Parliament President Martin Schulz:

“Whoever will form the new government we should neither panic nor give counsel, nor be sulking sullen. The new government in Athens must break the deadlock. We must help the Greeks come to their feet with a pact for jobs and growth and a bit more time to make the savings. Then they will be able to fulfill their obligations. This is in the interest of Germany, as there will be dark times if the eurozone and the EU break down.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:38:38 PM - By DW

“Faced with Greek elections that threaten to result in only more disarray, European leaders are set to turn their attention to safeguarding the other 98 percent of the euro-area economy.” — the lede in Bloomberg.com’s lead story at this moment.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:34:19 PM - By DW

For readers of French we can recommend the live blog of Le Monde here.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:26:49 PM - By ip-admin

Note on the reported Exit Polls:

The two exit poll results reported at 7pm were only partial at 75% and 80% of their respective samples. It is being reported that the (more) conclusive exit poll results will be posted at 9pm.

Sources from the Interior Ministry also say that their First Estimate on Results will also come later than usual at around 9.30pm with more conclusive Estimates on Results even later (on May 6th this was around 11pm).

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:20:05 PM - By DW

A word from Michael Dukakis from Boston:

“We are just watching like everybody else, but I always had my doubts about Greece adopting the euro, and they have been borne out. Unfortunately, unwinding it now wouldn’t be fun. Of course, a little historical perspective is in order even though that may be small comfort to so many Greeks who have been hit so hard by the economic crisis. As I say to my friends around here, Greece has come through many tough times over the course of its storied history. This is tough, but it is not the 30 Years War.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 05:18:56 PM - By ip-admin

Acting Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis, a few minutes ago in statement, expressed satisfaction on how the the elections were run country-wide. He said that everything rolled smoothly and respectfully apart from only one polling station.

The polling station he was referring to is one belonging to Athens A Electoral District at Ioustinianou street in Exarcheia, where a group of around ten men in hoods/masks and motorcycle helmets attacked the policemen on guard, stole a ballot box and set it on fire. It is reported that the policemen have been taken to hospital.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 04:40:02 PM - By DW

The exit poll results thus far are so close that one is compelled to ask whether there is a margin at which the Greek state is obliged to recount the votes, as is the case throughout the US (remember Florida in 2000 or Minnesota in 2008?).

June 17, Europe/Athens / 04:26:06 PM - By DW

Fotinie Efstratiadou, a regular reader (and voter) has sent us this account of her experience (in Greek):

“Ανέβαλα κι εγώ να ψηφίσω σήμερα, έως την τελευταία στιγμή, ώσπου συνειδητοποίησα ότι δεν ήμουν η μόνη! Προς μεγάλη μου έκπληξη, όλοι μπροστά μου έστριβαν προς την ίδια κατεύθυνση, λίγα λεπτά πριν το κλείσιμο της κάλπης κι επιπλέον, είδα περισσότερους που πλησίαζαν για να παρκάρουν, ενώ έφευγα…

Ήταν άραγε απλά αναποφάσιστοι; καθυστέρησαν λόγω κίνησης στην επιστροφή από την παραλία; ή και τα δύο;

Άραγε είχαν κι εκείνοι το ίδιο δήλημα; Ψήφο συνείδησης ή τακτικής; Μήπως ήταν ψήφος φόβου ή άγνοιας; Κάποιοι στραβοκοιτούσαν τις στήβες από ψηφοδέλτια, μήπως κι εμπνευστούν τελευταία στιγμή, πριν την μοναχικότητα της επιλογής.

Σε εποχές δικομματισμού λέγαμε..Αντε! και με τη Νίκη!!

Τώρα ίσως χρειάζεται να λέμε…Άντε! και με Κυβέρνηση!!

Άναρρωτιέμαι, όποιος κυβερνήσει, θα τολμήσει άραγε να σκεφτεί το συλλογικό συμφέρον τολμώντας επιτέλους με ανδρεία τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που χρειαζόμαστε, πέρα από οποιοδήποτε μνημόνιο, μπας και τα εγγόνια μας δούν μια άσπρη, φωτεινή μέρα στην Ελλάδα, αντάξιά της;

June 17, Europe/Athens / 04:23:08 PM - By PR

First Exit Polls Out

June 17, Europe/Athens / 04:12:58 PM - By DW

And the first exit poll projects give New Democracy a half percentage point edge. A first observation is that no party will win an outright majority of seats and no party will have a clear mandate. It appears on the other end of the scale that Dimiourgia Xana (the cooperative party platform of Thanos Tzimeros and Stefanos Manos of Drassi) may receive 3% of the vote, enough to win representation in Parliament.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 04:06:09 PM - By DW

NET public TV projects an even slighter advantage to New Democracy.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 04:04:14 PM - By DW

Projections from Public Issue on SKAI TV show a marginal advantage to Syriza of .5% with margins of error of from 2.5 to 3%. This just before the first official exit poll announcements. There are reports from different districts thoughout the country of a last-minute rush to vote, with some estimations that the majority of late voters support Syriza.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 03:43:44 PM - By DW

Krysta Kalachani notes from outside Corinth, “From a discussion I had with the representative of “aneksartitoi ellines” in the polling station of the village, she said they are expecting low turnout. It is a small electoral body, people go and vote around 11 after the church and after 5 until polls close…”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 03:29:20 PM - By DW

Stelios Kelaiditis has texted us two brief lines on the atmosphere in his polling station in Athens:

“Silence in the waiting room; maybe even eerie silence.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 03:05:25 PM - By DW

Helena Smith has posted this entry on the Guardian live blog. The fate of Greece and the EU, to continue the hyperebole of the season, would seem to rest among younger voters returning from the beach to vote…

“I have just spoken to a senior cadre in the socialist Pasok party where unofficial polling results are being monitored on a two-hourly basis. “The next few hours are crucial as the rush to vote has only just begun among young people,” he told me. “From now to the close of the election polling stations are likely to be packed.”

Latest results, he said, show the conservative “pro-European” New Democracy party in the lead with 29% of the vote closely followed by the anti-bailout far-left Syriza party with 27%. Pasok is in third with 12%. The small European-oriented Democrat Left has around 6%. Support for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which was catapulted into parliament for the first time since the collapse of military rule in 1974, was also at 6%. Figures for the communist KKE party and anti-austerity Independent Greeks party were not available.

Exit polls will be released at 7pm Greek time but with at least 15 % of voters undecided analysts have warned that it won’t be before 9:30pm that “a clear result” comes through.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 03:00:01 PM - By DW

Kostas Lavdas of the University of Crete has sent this longish post with his reflections of the moment.

“A window of opportunity will open if Greece swears in a government swiftly after today’s election. Unfortunately a government could not be formed after the previous election, despite Mr. Kouvelis’ constructive suggestion for an ecumenical government. At least after today’s election is over, if a viable government is formed, we will be able to use the window of opportunity, in order to curb some of the structural constraints on large-scale reform while at the same time reassuring Greek citizens that national democratic accountability is not a thing of the past.

The point, then, is to use the current juncture in order to achieve two distinct but closely linked objectives. First, we need to modernize, privatize and liberalize, deep and fast. Second, we need to remain steadily fixed in the absolute necessity – for a small state with an open economy and a precarious geopolitical position – of the existence of a capable public sector and powerful regulatory agencies in order to oversee privatized utilities and increase competition in domestic markets.

There is no doubt that Greece needs to change. Pro- and anti-memorandum discourses tend to conceal the real challenges ahead. Abiding by the general framework of the goals and the targets we have agreed with our partners, we also need to find the optimal ways to modernize while also fostering development and growth in a humane way.

During the prolonged electoral period, populist rhetoric by SYRIZA and other parties did a lot to damage the sincere exchange of views between Greece and other members of the eurozone and the EU. At the same time, however, there are aspects of Europe that need to change as well. The one-sided focus on austerity alone will not do. In the medium and longer-term, it will certainly not do for Europe as a whole, not just for Greece, for Portugal, for Spain or for Italy.

Starting tomorrow, Greece will face a combined challenge: responsibility vis-à-vis Greece’s European presence and future but also accountability vis-à-vis the citizens of Greece who have suffered a lot in order to keep the country in the eurozone. That particular combination – European responsibility and democratic accountability – is and will be of paramount importance, whatever the outcome of the election.

Not all the interests – domestic and transnational – that have been involved in bringing about the premature, repeated and prolonged electoral contests will be happy with this combination of strategic objectives. Yet it is the combination that is crucial. Its attainment and sustainability will depend on particular policy coalitions.

In what way a new politics could construct a coalition between entrepreneurs, professional strata and qualified public servants, and whether a coalition government could be the political medium of such a policy coalition, are questions to which it would be difficult to attempt a confident answer today. These, however, are the questions that will matter.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 02:29:33 PM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 02:20:28 PM - By DW

Friend Marios Efthymiopoulos of Strategy International shares this best case scenario:

A. A new government will be formed. A political party or political parties will jointly decide the creation of a coalition government, while at the same time a government program is jointly decided for day after to counteract Greece’s degrading financial and social posture.

B. The new  government will either re-negotiate existing fiscal austerity measures with the IMF and the European Central Bank, or decide to implement most or all existing new austerity measures that remain to be implemented.

Two basic questions intrique our friend: which of the two parties, New Democracy and Syriza, will take first place and win the 50-seat bonus? And will the party of Thanos Tzimeras pass the 3% threshold nationally.

Marios reports mostly smooth functioning of the election aparatus, particularly in the north, but laments the spreading forest fires in the south.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 02:14:34 PM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 02:08:33 PM - By DW

Politis is watching the second round of parliamentary voting in France today out of one eye. We like France24.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 02:03:35 PM - By DW

Krysta Kalachani reports from Corinth that “In the village where I am it seems that XA is coming first again, I will ask and get back to you.. Am not sure for this time, but judging from May 6 elections I guess that XA is going to be first again. Unfortunately am not in the city of Korinthos. Last time there were people of XA in the polling stations. The only thing I know is that people go and vote without talking at all, no discussions, nothing..like they are dead or something. I don’t know the turnout though here.. If I learn anything I will tell you.” An Athens News reported posted on Twitter earlier in the day that XA partisans were present at at least two polling stations in Corinth.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:56:21 PM - By DW

Dimitris Machairas, one of our colleagues in London, is watching the elections closely. “David, it’s ridiculous,” he writes.

“Greeks abroad are not allowed to vote, unless of course they travel to Greece. Having a poll at every embassy would suffice. I mean, how can they have one at some remote village on a mountain for example, and not in London or New York?

Greeks here seemingly support the full spectrum of political parties. Syriza is quite popular with students, surprisingly, even among well-off ones. It’s this ‘Leftist/Communist from Ekali’ paradox that some people are talking about in Greece.

Of course the average Brit knows very little about what’s really going on in Greece, and remains uncritical towards what the media are feeding them. The good thing is that British media have not been as propagandistic as the German. I guess the stakes are less for Britain.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:40:41 PM - By DW

The latest from Germany: Eurobonds light. Perhaps they fear the coming encounter with the Greek national soccer team!

Regardless, as several commentators have remarked, in this high stakes of chicken someone will have to flinch first. As we reported yesterday there is real fear in the halls of decision making in Brussels and in Strasbourg about the outcome of the Greek election today.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:33:53 PM - By DW

Here is the link to Kathimerini’s live blog today (in English).

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:24:02 PM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:22:09 PM - By DW

Tony Barber over at FT post this note on Friday. Should we indeed anticipate the return of the grey suits or will Greece have a proper government by the end of the coming week? Or is something more sinister in the works?

Much more likely than military intervention,” writes Barber, “is the prospect, after the election, that Greece turns (as it has done twice since November) to a select group of so-called technocrats to run, in part or in whole, the government.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:21:10 PM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:16:27 PM - By DW

And what if the hyperbole is misplaced? Here is the lead headling on Reuters right now:

“Greek voters set to decide euro future”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:06:15 PM - By ip-admin

Back from casting my vote. Climate at the polling stations I visited was a bit more relaxed than last time. Same was the attendance ratio. At around 2:30 – 3pm participation was at around 45% at the two polling stations we visited to vote (in total as a family of 5 we vote at 3 different polling stations! one of us voted first thing in the morning and the other 4 first thing in the afternoon). Disgusting was once again the sight of thousands of political party posters plastered on lampposts and walls -shameful that lots of them belong to parties with a supposed eco-friendly inclination or wing.

At my place elections have always been a celebration of participation, reunion, democracy if you will, and you can’t have such a celebration without the family feast! Yes, politics have always been discussed at the table over long lunches, dinners and wine -this is Greece after all!

June 17, Europe/Athens / 01:04:52 PM - By RS

Watching, worrying and wondering what the psychological effect of the international press constantly telling Greek voters that their individual choices could ‘bring down Europe’ or cause ‘catastrophe’ or ‘send turmoil throughout the global economy’ (the latter as commented by the BBC online today)?  Much pressure??

 

 

June 17, Europe/Athens / 12:45:29 PM - By DW

Here is the link to the Guardian’s live blog. And a few posts down, we neglected to mention which German paper we were citing; it was Bild.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 12:42:39 PM - By DW

One of our Thessaloniki-based research assistants, Rena Kostopoulou, has these thoughts to share:

”I voted early in the morning, and my family too. As far as I know, my friends are going to vote, although not all of them. (I have a friend from Kozani, but she lives in Thessaloniki and doesn’t want to go to Kozani again to vote, so she’s not going to). I’m just a little concerned… I really don’t want Greece to abandon the Euro. I think the consequences will be much worse than what they will be if we stay and work our way out of our debt. Obviously, from a political point of view, it’s exciting to see what will happen if no party is elected again, but at this point what I believe the country needs is stability, so we definitely need a government asap!”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 12:39:35 PM - By DW

Sources are claiming that Golden Dawn muscle men are creating an intimidating impression at certain polling stations. We will try to get one of our Athens based colleagues to confirm this. The complaints have emerged from districts in Corinth.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 12:33:52 PM - By DW

Anger, fear, hope?

June 17, Europe/Athens / 12:00:43 PM - By DW

“Rather than attacking Ms. Merkel, those outside the euro zone who want to play a constructive role should aim their fire at the political elites in member states that continue to block reform…” So wrote Simon Nixon in the Wall Street Journal on June 10.

Like it or not, as several commentators have recognized, the next Greek government will have several reforms to confront within days of taking office.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 11:09:38 AM - By ip-admin

The President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, the Acting Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos and political party leaders voted earlier and made their statements in front of the cameras.

It is the first time that I can remember a Prime Minister in his statement first commenting on the crisis of the day -the fires burning in different parts of the country and the dangers from the gusting winds-, then calling for the citizens to pay attention to the Fire Brigades warnings and then referring to the political agenda. A different (allow me to say better) political ethos than the one we have become accustomed to and one based on pragmatism and practical political reality.

I am now off to cast my ballot (probably without on camera statements) and will report later on what I saw and learned at the polling station.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:45:51 AM - By ip-admin

A few minutes ago it was reported that Skai channel was attacked with a, thankfully unexploded, hand grenade.

Read more (in Greek) here.

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June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:43:10 AM - By DW

A more general take (in Greek) on how a left-wing government would approach the task of government.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:38:24 AM - By ip-admin

Google repeats its Greek elections Google Doodle:

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June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:28:18 AM - By DW

Thanks to the diligence of the Guardian team we have in English the economic program of Syriza.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:25:36 AM - By DW

The German paper puiblished the following diatribe yesterday.

”If you did not want our billions, it would have been fine by us for you to vote for any leftists or rightist clown you wanted. But for over two years now, the situation is like this:

Your ATMs continue to give you euros, only because we put them there, the Germans and the other nations that have the euro …

If the elections are won by parties that want to put an end to austerity and reform, breaching every agreement, we will stop paying …

You will choose between painful logic and complete disaster. And we are very much afraid that you don’t get that yet.” (Courtesy Athens News)

June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:13:49 AM - By DW

The Guardian is offering comprehensive local coverage of the elections today. Their blog is here.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 10:06:27 AM - By DW

For the sake of convenience one may find the original draft of the second Memorandum here. One wonders how many people in Greece — politicians and voters alike — have actually read and sought to understand the document. Here is the site of the IMF.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 09:52:12 AM - By DW

For or against the Memorandum? Take this quiz (in Greek) on the web site of Ta Nea.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 09:49:22 AM - By PR

June 17, Europe/Athens / 09:40:16 AM - By DW

Lovely interview here with legendary Greek leftist and man of letters Vasilis Vasilikos.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 09:07:48 AM - By DW

We posted this cartoon back around May 6 but the televised scenes of political personalities voting warrants our reposting.

 

June 17, Europe/Athens / 08:35:53 AM - By DW

Political leaders and personalities have been arriving at their polling stations here and there. Caretaker PMPikramenos is voting now.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 08:01:41 AM - By DW

Doom and gloom scenarios abound. The folks at Reform Watch have compared Greece with 1990s sanction-laden Yugoslavia:

”Effectively Greece is under economic sanctions, dictated not by politics but by the market.  A nation with a huge trade deficit in energy and even food is basically being cut out of world markets.  This harkens back to Yugoslavia in the 1990s, though the Serbs had the advantage—an important one—of being utterly self sufficient in food and had a far, far lower level of economic integration with the rest of the world.”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:31:28 AM - By DW

It has been said of voters everywhere that they support political parties the same way they support their favorite athletic team. One wonders what effect the Greek victory last night over Russia will have on voter behavior today.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 07:06:36 AM - By DW

Some sober analysis by Jacob Funk Kirkegaard at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. One may choose to dispute the conclusion on ideological grounds but the analysis demonstrates a deep understanding of the politics and the economics of Greece’s current plight, unlike the majority of what has been published on Greece in the mainstream media.

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:43:59 AM - By DW

Greece is once again on the front page all over the world. Here is what Skai News have to say about it. We will survey some of the coverage here this morning. In the meanwhile, one reader writes, ”How many more articles can they pump out before we see results? Enough already…”

June 17, Europe/Athens / 06:31:26 AM - By DW

Good morning all. Can’t say which party this voter will support but I guess a lot of people look like this today, given the nature of the choice and the fact that Greeks everywhere celebrated the heroic victory of their national soccer team last night. Good luck to all our friends who have yet to vote today.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 08:51:12 PM - By DW

Place your bets. Odds on the election winner at oddschecker.com

June 16, Europe/Athens / 08:44:30 PM - By DW

Haydn Shaughnessy of Forbes looking at events in Spain this past week asks whether, finally, there will be “‘greater collaboration between politicians and the markets.” What Shaughnessy calls the euro endgame does not look promising in his eyes. Greece seems no longer in play in this analysis.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 08:41:57 PM - By DW

One euro that Greece will not be exiting so soon: Greece 1, Russia 0. Greece moves on to the next round coming in second in its group.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 08:41:02 PM - By DW

One of the first things Greece pledged to do after signing the first Memorandum was to proceed with privatization of select state industries. Next to nothing has happened since then. By contrast, it appears that Italy is moving ahead full speed with a plan to sell off state assets to help reduce public debt.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 08:00:56 PM - By DW

There have been reports throughout the past week of Greeks withdrawing cash from their banking accounts. Doomsday scenarios include empty ATM machines on the day after the election. Kathimerini reported today, however, “that banks have taken extra care to have plenty of cash available to meet the increased demand by clients and minimize the risk of a bad impression, which could lead to panic. There has been particular emphasis placed on feeding ATMs constantly, with special measures taken for this weekend.”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 07:28:38 PM - By ip-admin

France is headed tomorrow for its second round of parliamentary elections, where Francois Hollande’s allies have a first round lead and where a little “spice” for political life is also present.

Egypt is also having a crucial second round presidential vote with polling already under way, whereas elsewhere in the Middle East, the Saudi Crown Prince passed away.

At the top right hand corner of this and every page, Politis offers a Navigation Cloud following current trending news, this time with a focus on Greek, French and Egyptian elections. Feel free to explore and play with this application.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 06:25:59 PM - By DW

One of our confidential sources at the European Parliament in Strasbourg has reported the following.

“They are clearly very worried at the European Parliament about who will win the election. Leaving the euro could be catastrophic and the fear of spillovers is real. There is concern about Syrazi and about Xrysu Avgi. So in sum there is a lot of anxiety.

From what I hear here they won’t let Greece leave the Euro. The only way to go about tackling the crisis is by working on creating an environment that would help Greece towards sustainable development. Bear in mind that Greece is not EU’s only concern. They are afraid of the spillovers.

On a more positive note, though, the internal debate here does not foresee Greece moving out. The cost would be too great reputation and credibility wise. The EU is too big to fail, but nothing is clear here as it will depend a lot on tomorrow’s result. It could be a game changer.”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 06:20:12 PM - By ip-admin

In lieu of an introduction of my own on the climate in the city, I would like to borrow a two weeks old (for anyone who missed it to read it now) op-ed by Randall Fuller for the NY Times entitled ‘Paralysis in Athens‘, where he aptly recalls Constantine Cavafy’s 1904, yet timeless, poem “Waiting for the Barbarians”.

He writes:’ “WHAT are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?” asked the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy in 1904. “Why do the Senators sit and pass no laws?”
Less than two weeks before Greece holds another round of national elections, Cavafy’s famous poem “Waiting for the Barbarians,” has renewed force and urgency in Athens.’ Read more here.

The only three things I would add at this moment, which showcase some mobility left in town, are the fans gathering to watch the Greek National Team play in the EURO 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, the hundreds of thousands of political party posters polluting the streets (and that’s why they were deemed illegal according to the electoral law), and the slow and silent run on the banks and supermarkets (though not at a level reminiscent of the similar ’89-’90 era).

June 16, Europe/Athens / 05:49:40 PM - By DW

Our colleague in Athens, Alec Mally of Foresight Strategy & Communications, has this to add to the conversation.

“Thought of the hour: The issue up for debate hasn’t been ‘what Greece wants.’ To a large extent it is about how much Greece really wants to struggle/suffer to become/remain competitive…”

Alec and the team at RePo(we)r Greece have been working tirelessly campaigning to make Greece more friendly to foreign investors. See the results of their recent poll on reform efforts in Greece here.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 05:27:53 PM - By ip-admin

Hello Politis, Stelios Kelaiditis from Athens calling. I have come down to the capital to attend my sister’s high school graduation yesterday, see my family, and vote in tomorrow’s repeat elections (A Athens electoral district).

You see I was lucky enough to have booked my tickets way in advance to make it cheap to travel (do I hear democracy costs to function?). It was around the time I realized that just after the May 6th elections party leaders weren’t as serious as I would have wanted them, in order to from a coalition unity government, and the new date for the repeat elections, tomorrow June 17th, went from a rumor to a calculated guess to a high probability.

Some fellow Greeks are not as lucky, young men and women my age for instance that have recently left the country in search of better opportunities abroad (cue sixties emigrant accompanying music and movies with the uncle and aunt in Diaspora, as we seem to be allowing history to repeat itself), cannot vote, cannot participate in any elections of their country from abroad:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jzUF8FtjWE?rel=0&w=421&h=237]

June 16, Europe/Athens / 05:18:37 PM - By DW

Dimitris Diamantis, one of our experts in urban and public policy, posted this observation on Facebook a few weeks ago.

“Just a thought to share:

Well, all the discussion is about the money we need (not arguing that this is the most important thing we need – just pointing out the fact that this is THE agenda issue right now).

Now, the money (ie., for development) will come from the combined policies and actions in all the areas the country (education, tourism, trade, agriculture, shipping, entrepreneurship, social security, etc, etc). However, it seems that 99% of the discussion of the elections (both of them) omits any issue but the memorandum.

OK, the memorandum is important; but it is only important because we failed (and it seems that keep on failing) to address all the other issues/areas.

If we keep on talking only about the memorandum and make our decision(s) solely on that (and it seems that this will be the case), I feel that we are taking a great risk and in 2, 3, 4 years we will still find ourselves in a deadend (do you remember that in 2009 year 2012 seemed a century away….?????).

The political horizon of a week or a month is not the best councilor for our decisions…”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 05:13:48 PM - By DW

Stephanos Manos, “electron libre de la politique grecque,” according to an analysis by Allain Salles in today’s Le Monde. The theme of the quality of Greece’s political leadership has been lamented often in the Greek and international media. The editorial staff at Kathimerini have frequently written about this. By way of example, the lead editorial from the English edition of Kathimerini of June 12.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 04:53:33 PM - By DW

A lot has been said and written about the German role in the eurozone crisis. What is commonly overlooked is that the German Parliament has the ultimate responsibility for decisions regarding public finance. Having attempted once with no success  to create a fast track mechanism within the Bundestag to deal with budget issues in other EU member states, the parliament has elected a new special panel for acting fast in the debt crisis. Deutsche Welle sorts this all out here.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 04:37:24 PM - By DW

Former PM George Papandreou has been relatively reserved since stepping down from his premiership and his presidency of Pasok. In an interview with the Guardian he has argued that Greece needs a resolutely pro-European government. As Helena Smith puts it, “In one of the many ironies of a crisis that has shifted the political landscape of Greece, the socialist Papandreou now finds himself in effect supporting [Antonis] Samaras, a long-time political opponent, to ensure Greece remains in the single currency.”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 04:06:31 PM - By DW

Politis is covering the Greek parliamentary elections throughout the weekend and, in all likelihood, into next week. The coverage is a public service initiative of the Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center for Public and Humanitarian Service in Thessaloniki. We are joined by a team of scholars, researchers, and practitioners reporting in Athens, Thessaloniki, and Kavala.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 02:09:56 PM - By DW

Will the EU keep a hard line on Greek compliance to the terms of the Memorandum. Der Spiegel thinks not. This coupled with last weekend’s bailout of Spanish banks has given the two leading Greek parties plenty of ammunition in the run up to Sunday’s election.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 02:08:56 PM - By DW

If our readers are still undecided about how to vote Sunday we propose two  tools to help understand one’s personal preferences and the positions  of the parties likely to seat members in the next Parliament on the different issues.

Choose4Greece (in Greek; an English page exists)

Policy Monitor

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:58:06 PM - By DW

Stelios Kelaiditis from Athens sends this animation.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:57:37 PM - By DW

A passionate critique of the austerity plan, by philosopher Slavoj Žižek, whose sympathies lie with Syriza.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:56:50 PM - By DW

Couple more blogs worth consulting:

Greek Economists for Reform

Keep Talking Greece

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:55:29 PM - By DW

Kathimerini’s English edition is live blogging the elections this weekend also, here. The Guardian has been collecting articles of uneven quality here. The daily business blog at the Guardian on the crisis in the eurozone has been better, as have the blog on the Wall Street Journal and Gideon Rachman’s page on the Financial Times.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:51:38 PM - By DW

It appears that extra precautions have been taken so that the election proceeds smoothly on Sunday. This report  (in Greek) gives an account of the measures taken.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:51:04 PM - By DW

Suzanne Daley in today’s New York Times has this profile of Thessaloniki Mayor Ioannis Boutaris. “What I am trying to do is to open all fronts and create a huge turbulence,

” she quotes Boutaris as saying. “When you propose the slightest change, people say no. If you do it all at once, it is a different thing. Something has to break through.”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:49:51 PM - By DW

Our men in Kavala and Athens, Ian Kehoe and  Stelios Kelaiditis, respectively, lament, per this article ]in the Guardian, that the super-rich “remain untouched” in Stelios’ words. A similar analysis by Landon Thomas appeared in the New York Times a few weeks ago.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:47:31 PM - By DW

There was a time some weeks ago when parallels with the Weimar Republic were all the rage. There is continued reference to the need of a latter day Marshall Plan for Southern Europe. This  article in the Economist gives some interesting context to the parallels.

“As far as historical analogies go, what Southern Europe received when included in the euro zone was closer to a Dawes Plan. And just like in Germany in the 1920s, the Southern Europeans responded with a borrowing spree. In 2010 we didn’t serve them a Marshall Plan either, but a deflationary Young Plan instead.

This latter-day Young Plan is not even fully implemented yet. But we see the same debilitating consequences its precursor had around 1930: technocratic governments, loss of democratic legitimacy, the rise of political fringe parties, and no end in sight to the financial and economic crisis engulfing these states, no matter how many additional aid packages are negotiated. Woe if those historical analogies bear out.”

 

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:37:35 PM - By DW

This in from Livy Merchant, a Grecophile of the first order who works in Iraq but calls Zakynthos home, and who was for many years President of Robert College in Constantinople. In the author’s words, it reads a bit like

“a possible plot for a science fiction novella.”

“From time to time I wonder if we could not de-globalize. Why should markets and financial speculation affect production and life? Why not decouple the economies and build bilateral bridges again. And why not talk Marshal Plans instead of bailouts.

The US fixed the German economy after WWII in spite of the fact that the ruin of that country was essentially the fault of tremendous bad leadership and followership in the 1930s. We did not say, the Nazis were so terrible we will let the Germans starve. Why do we say, the Greek leaders were so dishonest we will let the Greek starves.

Personally I think it is possible that a series of disasters will lead to the de-globalization I am talking about. Japan falls. China implodes. India sinks into the mire of its own corruption. Germans find they have no one to sell their products to. The French decide to drink their wine instead of exporting it. Greeks give a party every summer and Europeans come to enjoy the bargain.

And a commission is set up to track down all the culprits who diddled the market and the debts and the currencies. These people are invited to a life-long tenancy on the island of Leras. The climate is fine. There are a very large set of buildings that used to house the insane of Greece until the 1970s. They could be revamped and all of the criminal financiers and politicians could spend the rest of their lives confined to a paradise island with no internet and no telephones.”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:35:06 PM - By DW

Politis has posted an analysis of May 6 election results by Dimitris Diamanti and myself. For some counterpoint here is what journalist Takis Michas has posted on Facebook.

1) There is a lot of volatility in the polls. However, most of the polls, if not all show a lead of ND of 0.5 to 3 ppts.

Indicatively :
POLLSTER A: ND= 31.1%, SYR=29.6% (voter intention)
POLLSTER B: ND=31.5%, SYR=29% (eklogiki epiroi)
POLLSTER C: ND=28%, SYR= 25.5% (voter intention)
Given the sampling error was +/-1.5% to +/-2% depending on the company, the final outcome in most polls is still quite uncertain

2) The undecided vote:
It has come down but it is still high by all accounts.
The range for the undecided vote is 7% to 15%.
The pollsters agree SYRIZA has an advantage in the undecided pool. Some argue it can get as much as 50% of the undecided vote while others say it can get maximum 1/3 of he vote. ND is thought to be able to get a smaller percentage, i.e. up to 1/5 of the undecided vote.

Example: If the undecided is 10% and SYRIZA gets 50% with ND another 20%, then he has an advantage of 3ppts and can win if ND’s lead in the decided vote is 1.5-2.5 ppts

CONCLUSION: Every vote that does not go to ND in effect helps Syriza become the first party and/or every vote that does not go to Syriza helps ND become the first party.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:21:53 PM - By DW

A special report in Reuters gives details on some of the shady deals in the Greek banking world, which threaten now  to drag  Cyprus down too. The bank in question is Marfin Popular Bank.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:20:26 PM - By DW

This article in Wednesday’s Irish Times gives good insight into how average Greek citizens are looking at the election of June 17. It may be that most voters are not convinced after all that the election is a referendum on Greece’s staying in the Eurozone.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:13:52 PM - By DW

Word of the week: scrips. This is what Alen Mittich suggests in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. Journalists seem to be falling over one another to find creative ways to imagine how Greece will depart the eurozone.

“With euros flooding out of the country and Greece’s rescuers being reluctant to extend further aid to a country they increasingly don’t trust to pay them back in full, any new Greek administration is likely to have to start paying its obligations in IOUs.

Pensioners, government workers and contractors will increasingly be paid in this new scrip. Initially, the scrip will be officially valued in terms of euros.

As the government issues more and more of it, it will be used by people as a medium of exchange. Remember, there will be a dearth of euros in the country as people hold on to the high-value currency, causing a credit and liquidity crunch.

Pretty quickly, a market will spring up where people will be able to exchange scrip for euros at something other than the official rate of exchange. The more of this scrip the government issues, the less the scrip will be worth relative to the euro.

 

And then, somewhere along the way, Greeks will start calling the new scrip something like the Greek euro or the new drachma. And they will discover they’ve got a new currency.”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:12:34 PM - By DW

Kicking a lying dog has become sport in certain international media. A critique of Greece’s penchant for “biting the hand that feeds it” by Franz-Olivier Giesbert in Le Point last week rose some eyebrows this week. With cynical double entendre the author suggests that Syriza-led Greece forget Russia and China to consider Turkey as its next savior, if indeed the party makes good on its promise to renege on the Memorandum.

“Are Turkey’s incredible economic performance of 8% growth and an 18% increase in exports not sufficiently legitimate for that country to underwrite the stabilization of Greece?”

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:11:09 PM - By DW

Nikos Konstandaras has this sober assessment of the situation in Greece in today’s New York Times:

 

… the people who work hard and pay taxes, who have a stake in reform and progress, who carry the burden of every mistake, have no credible representative to vote for. Those who want a better Greece have to look for the least bad option.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:09:45 PM - By DW

Here are a few recent stories of note in The Guardian. Ruth Sutton likes this story, entitled “The Greeks who are swimming against the tide.” Also from the Guardian is Mark Mazower’s article

“For Greece and Germany a democratic trial looms,” the comments section of which, as Ian Kehoe points out, is particularly rich.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 01:07:31 PM - By DW

This comment  in the German edition of the Financial Times made quite a stir Friday. Here is what Aggelos Malindretas, a research assistant at the Dukakis Center, has to say about it:

Pfff! It should be the united states of Europe. If a Florida newspaper endorsed Chris Christie [of New Jersey]because of eco-policies should an American in Utah be upset? And yes, Tsipras did say that Germany should not re elect Merkel, making it the same exact thing. Of course it should happen, it is part of the whole European debate. The answer should be about the economic policies and substance. The answer to such statements is that the Financial Times are not interfering in the Greek elections.

Meanwhile, adds David Wisner, The Economist seems to be endorsing Barack Obama for reelection here.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 11:53:19 AM - By DW

Greek citizens will vote on Sunday, June 17. The first exit poll results will start coming in around 7 PM Sunday.

The Wall Street Journal published a good primer yesterday on how the election will be conducted, and what will be different from the elections of May 6. More tips below from Reuters below:

– Polling stations are open roughly from dusk to dawn on Sunday, starting at 7 a.m local time (0400 GMT) and closing at 7 p.m., when the first exit polls are published. A first official projection of the result is expected from 9-9:30 p.m. The final results could be announced in the early hours of Monday.

– Voting in parliamentary elections is compulsory in Greece, with about 9.9 million Greeks aged over 18 eligible to vote. About half of the voters are aged between 18-29 or over 66.

– Parties need to secure at least 3 percent of the vote to enter parliament for a four-year term. The party that comes first gets an automatic 50-seat bonus, so that even a slim advantage could play a decisive role in determining which party forms the next government.

– Greece is divided into 56 local constituencies and the number of deputies elected in each constituency depends on the region’s population.

– Voters in Athens, where half of the country’s 11 million population live, elects 59 deputies. Twelve of the 300 lawmakers are directly appointed by the parties.

NO OUTRIGHT MAJORITY

– If, as the latest opinion polls show, no party wins an outright majority, Greek President Karolos Papoulias gives the party leader with the most votes three days to forge a coalition government with other parties.

– Should this fail, the president hands the exploratory mandate to the second party, and then to the third. Negotiations could be wrapped up within hours.

– However, if all efforts to form a government fail, the president will ask for the formation of a caretaker government with the participation of all parties elected in parliament and tasked with calling new elections.

– According to the last polls published two weeks ahead of the election, supporters and opponents of Greece’s international bailout are virtually neck-and-neck. The parties set to enter parliament are:

– The conservative New Democracy, the radical left SYRIZA, the socialist PASOK, the right-wing Independent Greeks, the communist KKE, the center-right Democratic Alliance and the extreme right Golden Dawn.

June 16, Europe/Athens / 11:46:35 AM - By DW

Welcome to Politis’ rolling coverage of Greek elections 2012, round two. I am David Wisner and I will be coordinating our reports. I will be joined throughout the weekend by other members of the Dukakis Center team.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 07:26:20 PM - By DW

Live blogging from ACT. See your old classmates in the video window on Politis.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 06:55:31 PM - By DW

LIVE from the terrace of the ACT New Building, blogging the ACT 30th anniversary homecoming event. Music from the djs of Plus Radio 102.6.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 06:46:41 PM - By DW

Kristin Harms sends her greetings to family and friends all over the world, especially IOWA!

June 8, Europe/Athens / 06:40:44 PM - By DW

Dobro vecer na site moi prijateli od mojata vtora omilena Zemja. Mr. Wisner

 

June 8, Europe/Athens / 06:35:47 PM - By DW

Things warming up at ACT. First students from north of the border have just arrived!

June 8, Europe/Athens / 06:29:08 PM - By DW

If Lou “I Love the Yankees and the Knicks” Yannitsadis is watching, Elena and Alexia say hello! Anatolia and ACT alumni!

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:58:28 PM - By DW

Special thanks to current ACT senior Pandelis Rafail, the IT and Management Associate of the Dukakis Center, for setting up the blog today on Politis.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:54:59 PM - By DW

Alexandros and Alexandros send  their greetings to all their listeners. Plus+Radio 102.6.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:54:12 PM - By DW

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:50:08 PM - By DW

Plus+Radio is dj-ing tonight’s event live  from the Terrace of the ACT New Building.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:40:53 PM - By DW

ACT’s second name, for those of you who are counting, was ACHS — the American College of Higher Studies.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:38:58 PM - By DW

Olia Pekou, Vice President of the ACT Alumni Association, sends her greetings to all SBALA/ACHS/ACT alumni who could not make it to Homecoming this evening!

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:36:44 PM - By DW

ACT started life as SBALA — the School of Business Administration and Liberal Arts — in 1981! Bill McGrew was the President of Anatolia at the time.

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:31:17 PM - By DW

The Ameican College of Thessaloniki cellebrqted its thirtieth anniversary last year!

June 8, Europe/Athens / 05:20:16 PM - By DW

If you are watching on Politis, you will see a small screen on the upper right hand side of your screen. Watch here for your former classmates and favorite professors!

June 8, Europe/Athens / 04:44:41 PM - By DW

Welcome to Politis’ live blog coveage of the30th anniversary homecoming for alumni of SBALA, ACHS, and ACT! We will be back live from the campus of the American College of Thessaloniki around 8:30.

 

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:33:02 PM - By DW

And that’s a wrap. Thanks for tuning in and have a pleasant evening.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:22:06 PM - By DW

Subsidiarity lacking in Greece, different levels of government must compliment each other and not compete with or obscure each other. Competencies must be respected, and not circumvented or blocked by other levels of governance.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:19:45 PM - By DW

On competiveness, one might argue that this issues should be addressed at its root and not by a government – especially with regard to economic patriotism.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:18:50 PM - By DW

What did we not hear?

What is the relationship between higher education and vocational education? High school can do this (but does not in the Greek case). At university vocation is put aside.

Highschool is the key, as is the interface between highschool and university.

In Greece research and producation are completely divorved, and there is no interest in how new technological companies can be created.

It appears in the Greek case the universities do not even want to obey a law passed by parliament.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:13:55 PM - By DW

Which two of the three do you want? You cannot have all three.

democracy

the state

global markets

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:11:04 PM - By DW

And now for the wrap.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:10:24 PM - By DW

Learning from mistakes Greeks may well be at the point when they realize what needs to be changed.

Or will it. Maybe voters will vote for extreme solutions.

Suffereing is inevitable, the group believe.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:08:55 PM - By DW

Things were worse five years ago, but is the mentality changing? If you starve you will change.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:08:20 PM - By DW

This is not a difficult task and can be accomplished from the bottom up.

How can the mentality be changed, you ask?

Young people clubbing, sipping frappes, relying on and then blaming immigrants for everything.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:05:46 PM - By DW

Simplicity in the tax code is a must, to introduce stability, as an incentive if nothing else for investors.

Planning must be introduced.

Who are citizens, what are their responsibilities? Being Greek is an open question.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:02:56 PM - By DW

That’s paramount.

Communication is also crucial, as is the stability of the judicial system. Investors will avoid Greece otherwise.

Citizen control of the public sector to help monitor corruption. Local authorities as well.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:01:13 PM - By DW

Streamlining should be introduced at all levels, including within the public administration.

Efficiency should be paraount.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 04:00:25 PM - By DW

The public sector should serve citizens?

Whom does the Greek public sector serve today?

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:59:37 PM - By DW

The Leviathan of Greek society, the public administration, the bones of the country.

The state is one and indivisible. It should never demand from citizens information that it already has.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:58:21 PM - By DW

Finally, Group D, on the public administration.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:57:40 PM - By DW

Reform the tax system and make legislation more legible.

Combining business, educatio and technological development will create incentives for Greeks to stay and not go abroad.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:56:17 PM - By DW

How should the state help businesses reach global markets?

This is a proper role for the state, especially in times of crisis. What is needed is incentives – encouragement through training and, maybe, money. Faith in the government must be restored.

 

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:54:57 PM - By DW

Make it in Greece! Don’t import and buy from abroad. Some nationalism if good!

 

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:54:22 PM - By DW

Growth areas – tourism, agriculture and shipping – can right themselves if the bureaucracy works, with added incentives in areas like agriculture.

Imports of foodstuffs can be reversed if Greek farmers grow foodstuffs that are currently imported.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:52:25 PM - By DW

The group note that there seems to be little supervision of public service employees.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:51:49 PM - By DW

Educational reform is the key to overcoming bureaucratic obstacles, as better trained functionaries will gradually replace untrained colleagues.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:50:27 PM - By DW

Human training vs bureacracy, legal and fiscal uncertainty, venture capital.

The bureaucracy is the ultimate obstacle to reform and competitiveness.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:48:25 PM - By DW

The problem in Greece, is is observed, starts with teachers who are trained in the former manner of dispensing the education.

Now on top Group C, on competitiveness.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:46:45 PM - By DW

Lots of discussion on the merits of introducing such an approach in Greece.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:43:57 PM - By DW

How to deal with threat posed by giving too much freedom to pupils and students? One must exercise discipline at some point.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:41:27 PM - By DW

Create well-rounded persons with an understanding of the interconnectedness of things, from the bottom up.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:40:47 PM - By DW

Intercurricular approach is proposed, from elementary school, seeking to determine what pupils like and do well in.

Give more choice, and introduce more critical thinking.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:38:57 PM - By DW

Tomorrow’s Greeks, Group B.

Education is the heart of this topic.

Bottom up processes are the core of the approach.

Social skills, knowledge, ability to judge. Greek education lacks the first and the third, emphasizing rote learning.

How to reform this? Individual judgment is at a premium. The division into two tracks (desmi) is counter-productive, particular if someone wants to combine elements of the two.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:35:47 PM - By DW

What is the future? Educated, active citizens, not necessarily politicians. Voters need to be active in social and civic circles.

What of civli liberties? In a democratic society if liberties are not respected, in an undemocratic society they will be even less so. Should there be restrictions to free speech? More to follow.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:33:38 PM - By DW

What are the foundations of democracy? Respect and interest in others’ opinions, which helps society evolve. This depends on how society and a government views this sort of development.

What does the rise of Golden Dawn represent. Nationalism, economic crisis and deprivation, breakdown of the state’s ablility to protect citizens.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:31:24 PM - By DW

Should anti-democratic discourse be permitted? Yes for the sake of diversity.

What explains the emergence in mainstream politics of anti-democratic groups. Lack of organization and lack of respect.

But capitalism seems to be counter to the interests of democracy owing to the growing gap between poor and rich.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:29:07 PM - By DW

Group A on democracy will present their findings first.

They are looking at the phenomena of anti-democracy in democratic regimes.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:28:09 PM - By DW

The groups have finshed their work and are readying to make their rapports.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:23:25 PM - By DW

We are liveblogging from the Bissell Library at ACT. Our speaker today is Simon Bensasson, former senior official of the European Commission.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:21:02 PM - By DW

The students taking part in today’s workshop are enrolled at the American College of Thessaloniki. They come from Greece, of course, and also from Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Brazil, and several states in the US.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:15:48 PM - By DW

We are still live streaming and live blogging the Inspiration Exchange event at the American College of Thessaloniki, under the auspices of the Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center for Public and Humanitarian Service.

Next Monday, May 21, at 5 PM the Dukakis Center will host Louis Klarevas of New York University, currently a Fulbright Senior Scholar for Greece*, for a Dukakis Seminar Series lecture on “The Long Arm of International Law: the practice and ethics of the international community removing sovereign heads of state deemed threats to international  security.” The event will take place in the ACT New Building Conference Room and is open to the public.

* Dr. Klarevas appears courtesy of the Fulbright Foundation Greece.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:07:41 PM - By DW

Group B has determined that critical thinking and developing judgment are lacking in the Greek education system. There needs to be more intercurricular education, even at university-level, and not more specialization and isolation of disciplines.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:05:26 PM - By DW

Group C has identified the bureaucracy as the biggest problem to overcome to make Greece more competitive. The group are working to find ways of overcoming this obstacle.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:01:53 PM - By DW

If you are joining us via Politis, why not leave your comments or impressions at the bottom of this page. Join the conversation!

May 16, Europe/Athens / 03:00:55 PM - By DW

Rumor has it that Group A has determined that democracy is not capatible with capitalism.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:58:09 PM - By DW

Student groups of 4-6 students have been tasked with drawing up a concrete set of proposals for each topic. The groups will designate a rapporteur to present their proposals after a 30 minute work session, following which there will be a general discussion. Stay tuned on our live stream for the presentations and the discussion!

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:54:44 PM - By DW

Group D: Managing Chaos – Public Administration

Simplification is a colossal legal endeavor. It would be useful to have a small number of elementary principles to which legislation should comply, or which should be used for accountability of the administration. We could call them public administration axioms. An example could be the following:

 

The state is “one and indivisible”. It should, therefore, never demand of a citizen, information that it already possesses.

 

How many such fundamental axioms, or principles can you think of that could serve as guidelines and yardsticks for future reform?

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:54:00 PM - By DW

Group C: The ability to make it and sell it – Competitiveness

How would you rank the following obstacles to competitiveness? Are there any other obstacles that you can think of, that are at least as important as these?

  • Legal and Fiscal Uncertainty
  • Bureaucracy
  • Human Resources with the Appropriate Skills
  • (Non-) Availability of Venture Capital

Can you suggest ways in which to overcome the most important of these obstacles?

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:53:01 PM - By DW

Group B:  Tomorrow’s Greeks

It is generally accepted that an education system performs two functions:

  • Prepare people for society offering them an education in the broadest sense of the word, and
  • Ensure that the knowledge and skills that society and the economy need are available.
  • Can you identify directions for reform that would be compatible with the means and the needs of the 21st century?
  • Are there any other fundamental things that school must offer in addition to knowledge, social skills and judgment?
  • What do you think would be the skills most in demand in Greece in 2020?

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:51:22 PM - By DW

Group A:  Anti-Democrats and Democracy

 

  • Should a democratic system allow within it, parties that are opposed to it and have as their obvious aim the dissolution of this democratic system?

 

  • What is it that nurtures anti-democratic sentiment – and therefore such parties?

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:47:02 PM - By DW

The workshop proper will now begin. We will post each of the four group topics separately.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:45:31 PM - By DW

Structural changes are more important than fiscal changes. They require little money to undert, ake.

To conclude, Napoleon in 1804 says relative to the civil code it is indeed an urgent undertaking if it is going to take 10 years to accomplish.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:43:36 PM - By DW

Production must increase. Stimulus is not an answer in itself.

One must distinguish between the urgent and the important. There are obstacles to dealing with the urgent issues.

The role and the state and the bureaucracy need to be reformed.

We need legal certainty to attract investment.

The judicial system must work in a speedy fashion.

Education must be reformed and life-long learning encouraged. There is no relations between university research and the needs of manufacturing and production.

 

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:39:58 PM - By DW

Clannism has now trumped the tribe, as the state continues to absent itself. Whose state is Greece, after all. There is not a clear answer to this, but God will provide…

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:37:54 PM - By DW

The place of Greece in the rest of the world is still problematic, as the pre-election debates show.

Time is still timeless in Greece, as tomorrow God will provide. Such seems to be the prevailing mentality.

It has appeared that the political parties did not have a plan. Maybe tomorrow it will occur to them what to do. In fact a lack of planning is inherent in Greek politics.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:35:49 PM - By DW

1996 and the rise of Simitis see a moment of normalcy, lost over the long run when Greece joined the eurozone. After 2004 the trajectory Greece took is difficul to explain. “A period of sloth, of nothing happening, of navel gazing.” And then the bubble burst.

What do we face now. No production. An over bloated and dysfunctional state, despite the best effort of some public servants. Skilled youth but ill trained for the tasks Greece faces.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:32:58 PM - By DW

In a word, one sees in the post-junta period the triumph of tribalism over comon sense. Spoiled and pampered.

Meanwhile a new identity is fostered, between east and west, with Greece as the meeting point. Along with this we see a leftist oriented nationalism emerge, for example over the Macedonian question.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:30:56 PM - By DW

Spending… in election campaigns increases, thanks to structural funds and printing of new money.

What counts now is not what you do but whom you know.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:29:48 PM - By DW

Finally, post-junta restoration of democracy. Healing takes place from 1974 till 1981. Characterizations of Greek society: equal rights to corruption.

But it is wrong to demonize the period, as there is real democratization, and some degree of liberalization, along with the “democratization of corruption.”

While the left becomes mainstream and legitimized, capitalization becomes demonized. The reult, a capitalist system with an anti-capitalist political mindset

 

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:25:39 PM - By DW

A bit of history, post 1945. Consolidation of democracy in the major cities, but rampant corruption. In rural areas less democracy. Aid and phenomenal growth, such that Greece becomes sufficiently rich that it no longer requires wealth.

Next, centrism, growth, and instability, leading to the junta of the colonels. Note that resistance to the junta was minimal. Bourgeois elites led the resistance, not the working class.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:22:33 PM - By DW

Our speaker, Simon Bensasson, a former senior official of the European Commission, starts by saying that yesterday was a sad day, given that the leaders of Greece’s political parties failed to form a government.

Regardless, Greece has deep reforms to make whether it stays in the eurozone or not. This is the underlying premise of today’s workshop.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 02:19:44 PM - By DW

Greetings and welcome the Politis’ live blog coverage of the Inspiration Exchange workshop on “Greece after the Election: Looking Forward.” We are live steaming and live blogging this event and want to invite you all to send us your comments and insights.

May 16, Europe/Athens / 01:08:38 AM - By PR

Inspiration Exchange
“Greece After the Elections:
Looking Forward”
Dr. Simon Bensasson

May 16, Europe/Athens / 12:49:19 AM - By PR

Inspiration Exchange
“Greece After the Elections:
Looking Forward”

Dr. Simon Bensasson

The following is a set of assumptions for our discussion of the 16/5. They will not be, themselves, discussed. However, as they provide, to my mind at least, the broader context in which the Greek crisis is situated, you may be interested to read them in advance. This way, it may be easier for you to challenge views of mine if you feel they are unfounded. The assumptions are the following:
a. There is a global problem caused by an imbalance of consumption/production. Parts of the world consume more than they produce whilst others consume less. The issue of growth is secondary to this imbalance and is able to make it better or make it worse.
b. A long term continuation of such imbalance may lead to a denouement which, in the extreme, can be the global collapse of trade – making the world a poorer place –global conflict or both. While the imbalance persists we shall carry on seeing crises like the current global one develop.
c. The crisis of 2008 sent out warning signals which have not, so far, been adequately heeded by governments. The financial markets with the strength given them by the unbridled deregulation of the last (over) 30 years have been left to exploit the phenomena of the crises
d. Arguably, the financial markets are doing nothing more than markets are supposed to do – namely to expose and eradicate weaknesses in favour of strengths. But:
• Markets are institutions operating within other, social, institutions such as democracy. When the behaviour of one institution makes the function of a “higher” one impossible, there is something deeply wrong in the system of institutions.
• The behaviour of the deregulated financial markets in the current crisis is such that democratically elected governments are not in a position to act to reverse negative trends and are instead forced down a slippery slope. Far from helping to solve the problem, the unregulated nature of the financial markets hampers solutions and promotes gambling house behaviours in a negative sum game.
e. The fundamental problem mentioned in (a) is obscured by the unregulated nature of financial markets. The debt of the “West”, including the US (the imbalance between production and consumption) is seen as a mostly fiscal problem or a problem of profligacy to be addressed by austerity. Growth, especially in knowledge intensive economic activities, can and must improve the situation but the opportunities financial markets offer, are more attractive to capital than gainful production: Exceeding their role of growth enablers, financial markets hamper growth, contributing to a redistribution of wealth in a manner which is neither productive nor fair.

f. The difficulties are not distributed evenly in time. At any one point, the crisis is of course in the weakest link (the one with the worst production imbalance) of a region – often obscuring the broader crisis. The herald of a crisis of the West is the crisis of the Euro, whose herald is the crisis of Southern Europe, whose herald has been the Greek crisis. None of these crises have been resolved. Moreover, as the crisis expands, the problems are not shifted (as some in Greece believe) but are aggravated as both resources and solidarity end in short supply.
g. Everyone (almost) agrees that a solution has to be found in growth. There is strong disagreement, however, on how growth is to be stimulated. Some call for Keynesian policies of stimulating demand, while others claim that such stimulation does not address the fundamental problem of imbalances and that, instead, the conditions should be created for bottom up growth related to competitiveness – such conditions usually relating to the legal and fiscal environment.
h. The truth lies probably somewhere in-between and has to take account, hopefully in an innovative way, of the realities of 21st century globalization and markets. Keynesian policies were invented for countries or regions with a sufficient production base so that demand stimulation would make that base grow.
i. In the case of Greece the answer is hard but clear. The production base has been so substantially eroded in recent years that demand stimulation of its own would simply worsen the imbalance. Indeed the Greek economy has been so much fuelled by consumption, while the production base was eroding, that the whole institutional system reached the verge of collapse. Greece is unlikely to get out of the crisis unless deep restructuring measures are implemented urgently.
j. In addition to the production problem, Greece has been debilitated by a chain of weaknesses, from short-termism to corruption and from a rigid state to a dysfunctional justice system. Overcoming these weaknesses also dictates deep structural changes for which money in itself offers no solution.
k. Many of these measures for restructuring are long term. This makes them all the more urgent – they need to start immediately whatever the government, whatever the currency and whatever the debt.






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