Syriza win outcome will resonate for months to come
E DII TO RII A L
The result from Sunday’s sweeping victory by anti-bailout Syriza will continue to reverberate in Greece and throughout Europe over the next few months, as the architects of the harsh austerity plans see their designs fail or even back-fire, pushing innocent voters into the arms of radical groups and extreme nationalists.
But the lessons to be learned are two and simple: don’t promise what you can’t deliver; and, your loyal voters will turn their backs on you.
This is true of all bailed-out countries, with the frustration leading to the rise of the likes of the leftist Syriza in Greece, sister groups in Italy and Spain, but also anti-immigrant voices in Germany and the occasional loony party in the U.K.
However, the tragedy of this Athenian comedy is that very soon, Alexis Tsipras will have to put water into his wine and tell his radical voters that Greece will not and cannot afford to abandon the bailout plan, let alone default on the multi-billion debt that it carries.
Truth be told, New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras tried very hard to juggle between his junior coalition partners and drive through a reform programme for Greece that was long overdue and was only tolerated by society because no one had the party machines under control. Furthermore, the austerity measures were imposed because of the extensive corruption that had plagued Greece for the past decades, from which all political parties and their footmen benefited.
Once the arrogance of the Syriza-ANEL coalition subsides, we pray that reason will prevail and Greece will return to a path of reform and maintaining the economic adjustment programme, something that Cypriot members of parliament have been dangerously experimenting with as they foolishly delay the implementation of the foreclosures package of bills. The only problem is that being an island, we believe that the winds of change that have swept across Europe will never blow this way, not realising that the days of the political parties, as we know them today, are numbered.