Greece Election Brings in Anti-Bailout Party to Power
The citizens in Greece have went to the polls to vote in the national elections, and according to early reports, the anti-bailout political party Syriza has won the elections. This was a very important election, particularly with regards to Greece’s future with the European Union, as well as with lending states who have financed Greece’s economic bailout.
The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, during his campaigning, “Tsipras has promised to renegotiate the country’s 240 billion-euro ($270 billion) international bailout deal, and seek forgiveness for most of Greece’s massive debt load. He has pledged to reverse many of the reforms that creditors demanded — including cuts in pensions and the minimum wage, some privatizations and public sector firings — in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010” (Yahoo, 2015).
This election clearly has numerous implications. The new governing party has argues that the bailouts have been very restricting, not only in terms of the effects on the Greek population and government policies, but they have seen them as humiliating (CNN, 2015). We have to remember that with the bailouts came continued negotiations with regards to how Greece would curb its spending in order to continue to have bailout money. However, some, such as Syriza have been upset with the level of outside influence on Greek policies, and specifically, on the ability for the state to provide social services.
But if the party does get a majority (which is not yet a given), and they push for increases in social spending, this could indeed affect whether Greece receives any further bailouts. But if they do not, many are worried that if their economy falters, or does not improve, that it could have long lasting ramifications not only for the country, but also possibly the European Union as a whole. Many European states have called for austerity measures to ensure that the Greek government will not only not overspend, but also attempt to revise the economy. For example, “Greece’s creditors insist the country must abide by previous commitments to continue receiving support, and investors and markets alike have been spooked by the anti-bailout rhetoric. Greece could face bankruptcy if a solution is not found, although speculation of a “Grexit” — Greece leaving the euro — and a potential collapse of the currency has been far less fraught than during the last general election in 2012″ (Yahoo, 2015).
The questions center around what is most beneficial for Greek society; will the bailouts help improve the economy, or have they hindered the domestic situation. Furthermore, in regards to the European Union, there are many within the international organization that are questioning whether to fund other European Union states with bailouts. And thus, one can imagine that the EU will closely be monitoring the final election results, as well as establishing plans to negotiate with the new government.