Who will win Greece’s election today? I don’t have the foggiest. I’d like to believe it will be SYRIZA (or, in an amazing change from what the last polls were reading, that it would be the even better left-wing party Democratic Left) so the resistance of Greeks to the austerity agenda would be heard as loudly and clearly as possible. But even if that doesn’t happen, the Greek left has fought valiantly, and the greatest proof of that is this little tidbit from this Associated Press article I’m linking here…
“Both PASOK and New Democracy have vowed to try to renegotiate parts of the bailout in an effort to stimulate Greece’s moribund economy,” the article says.
Why are they doing this? Weren’t they the parties that negotiated the thing in the first place?
They’re doing it because Greek voters are applying pressure on them to take growth seriously. That pressure didn’t come, as it should have, through the nominally “socialist” PASOK party, but through parties like SYRIZA and Democratic Left, which take their commitment to their constituents more seriously.
If New Democracy ends up winning (PASOK is, deservedly, way way out of the running), I’m not sure if it will respect this “vow” it’s supposed to have made…but the fact that it had to make it in the first place suggests that the new Greek government knows the people of Greece won’t put up with more submissive austerity deals for long. Sooner or later, deals made in Greece’s name will have to actually help the Greek people.
I will be thrilled if Greece has a left-wing government tomorrow, but the mark of the success of the Greek left is that the Greek right knows, or at least seems to know, that the status quo will no longer do. And it will not.