Post facto notes: Greek General Elections – September 2015

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On the day the new Government of Greece is sworn in office, I would like to offer some post facto notes on the General Elections of September 2015.

1. The majority of the voters ‘bought’ the ‘OLD-YOUNG’ dilemma and voted Mr. Tsipras as the ‘YOUNG’ Prime Minister and SYRIZA as the ‘untainted’ party to lead the country out of its current misery. Many analysts interpreted the vote as a vote in favor of the ‘left’. I do not think this is the case. The vote was a vote in favor of a leader and a party who have ‘clean hands’, which means no responsibility whatsoever for the bankruptcy of Greece.

2. Inversely, the majority of the voters did not ‘buy’ the ‘ALL TOGETHER’ approach of center-right ‘New Democracy’ and Mr. Meimarakis. They were outvoted as they were considered an integral component of the establishment that is responsible for the troubles of Greece.

3. The neo-nazis of ‘GOLDEN DAWN’ increased their share of votes and are the third strongest party in Parliament.

4. The appeal of ‘pluralistic’ but rudderless ‘POTAMI’ is fading away.

5. Social-democratic ‘PASOK’ is now well above the 3% mark.

6. The ‘freak’ party of Mr. Leventis is in Parliament for the first time in its history.

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It would be a mistake to assume that Mr. Tsipras’ work will be easy. I believe it will be almost Heraclean in scope and importance.

Voters can switch very quickly in an unstable political situation.

The developments of the next months will be the outcome of the ability of Mr. Tsipras to implement reforms in the Greek State and attract foreign direct investment, while containing the reaction of the Greeks to the measures of the third agreement, most notably the increased taxes of all types, and the severe reduction of the monthly pension amounts.

A lot of noise is made about the restructuring of the loans to Greece, but I am afraid that this is premature in the eyes of the creditors, and it is now time to listen to what the creditors say.

The creditors of Greece need to see some quick wins and solid progress in the program to restructure and reform the Greek State, keeping the overall program on track. Only once this is done, there can be a discussion on the restructuring of the loans.

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Therefore a lot depends on the new Government’s ability to execute agreed upon actions and implement measures, rather than play political and  public relations games internally and externally. The grace period given to Mr. Tsipras by both sides, the creditors and the Greek people, is now running out. Both sides need to see results.

If the Government manages to deliver, they can take all the credit, and quite deservedly so.   If, on the other hand, there are no results, there will be no one other to blame, but Mr. Tsipras and SYRIZA.

While Mr. Tsipras will be fighting the battle of his life, ‘New Democracy’ will be trying to sort out their leadership issues. If one thing is certain, is that they need to revive their pitch as the center-right party of Greece, and elect a strong and robust leader, if they are to recover their position as the political party of the majority of the Greek people.