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No reason to celebrate Greek election results

June 20th, 2012

Commentators on both the left and the right warn that the victory of Greek moderate parties in Sunday’s elections will not bring the economic and political crisis in the country to an end. They all agree that if Greece defaults, it will entail the end of the European Union.

“,” Balázs Pócs writes in Népszabadság.

Pócs believes Greece has become a test case for the politics of austerity. The left-wing columnist speculates that the new government will propose further restrictions, and thus the EU will use Greece to find out how voters react to extreme cuts in welfare. This, however, is unlikely to be a successful strategy in the long run, Pócs suggests. Such policies, he contends, will prolong the economic malaise and play into the hands of Syriza, the radical left-wing alliance.

Writing in Népszava, Tamás Rónay also cautions against optimism, since the pro-EU parties have no idea how to resolve the economic crisis and service the Greece debt. Rónay compares German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Andrei Gromyko, former Soviet Foreign Minister, who was also known as “Mr. No” for his stubbornness. But after the victory of the pro-EU parties, he continues, Merkel will have no option but to offer some concessions and renegotiate the Greek debt agreements, otherwise Greece will not be able to avert bankruptcy – both financial and political..

Greece’s creditors will try to keep the country afloat as long as they entertain the hope that they will get their money back, Levente Sitkei ruminates in Magyar Nemzet. Sitkei also believes that the main question after the election will be whether the German government will eventually react. The stakes are high: if Greece fails, the European Union also fails, Sitkei warns.

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