Citizens in Greece are now voting in an election as important to the future of Greece and in fact, all of Europe, as our Presidential election is to the US. Greece has been a financial flashpoint of the world-wide recession, and American economists and pseudo-economists have frequently characterized the Greek model as a worst-case scenario for the US.
Greek voters now are faced with a choice between continuing the policies that have destroyed their economy and made them the laughing stock of pundits, and basically starting over, with a new philosophy, new leadership, and a level of independence that European nations have given up over the past couple of decades. This mirrors not only the 2008 US Presidential election, but also this year’s election in the respect of either continuing the change we voted for in 2008 or going back to the bankrupt policies of the previous regime that caused the calamity in the first place.
But back to Greece. Voters are there faced with a choice between the progressive Syriza party and the ultra-conservative New Democracy Party, that are lackeys to other European conservative parties that have evoked the “Austerity” policies that have wrecked havoc on lives across the continent, destroying economies, along with hope, pride, and honor. The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank basically own the Greek economy, and the New Democracy Party is beholden to them, and their victory tomorrow would mean more austerity, more debt, more unemployment, more reduction in needed governmental services, and more civil unrest.
The Syriza party not only would not be beholden to such corrupt and powerful political and economic interests, but would affirmatively reject them, in effect “tearing up” current bailout agreements and rejecting further commitment to the eurozone. There is fear throughout Europe that this is just what will occur, resulting in Greece’s exit from the euro currency market, and nosedives in European and world-wide financial markets.
So be it.
US right wing politicians and pundits decry progressive views that mirror “Socialist” Europe. The true facts, as usual, are diametrically opposite of such beliefs – it is the ultra conservative European parties and their “austerity” polices that have devastated Europe. A return to progressive policies, liberal thinking, and economic plans derisively called “Socialist” is exactly what several European nations need to pull themselves out of the mess they are in, and lead them to recovery and prosperity.
Greece can be a new leader for Europe in the next decade.