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Thread: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

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    Default Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Today is THE day, we go to the polls to elect a new government, 2 years ahead of normal. The very latest poll, published yesterday, suggest that SYRIZA will get 35% of the vote, Nea Demokratia 30%, To Potami 7%, Χρυσή Ανγή (Golden Dawn) 6.5%, KKE 6%, PASOK 5.5%, ANEL (Independent Greeks) 3.5%. The others, including ex PM Papandreou's Kinima, will not reach the 3% treshold and thus will not have any representation in the new Parliament. Strangely enough, To Potami, which polls as the 3rd largest party, has yet to present anything resembling a program for government. All we ever heard from this party, and again this morning, are slogans like "Let's change everything without demolishing Greece", but never any suggestion of how this should or even could be achieved...This scenario also conjurs up the spectre of Golden Dawn being asked to try and form a government if they come third, which is a distinct possibility.
    In seats, this would mean that SYRIZA would get 144 seats (Including the 50 bonus seats), 7 short of the overall majority TSIPRAS is aiming at.
    What is the choice for us Greeks? Over the last week or so we got treated to some of the worst campaigning ever. At times, when watching and listening to Antonis Samaras, outgoing PM, I could have sworn I was listening to Sarah Palin after a severe hormone treatment. This peformance is what lost Nea Demokratia its votes. Samaras tried to limit the damage by reverting back to the fear mongering and threats that got him over the line in 2012. This backfired even more, with the net result that over the last week the gap between Nea Domokratia and SYRIZA widenend, with SYRIZA now commanding a 5% lead, which would seem to be to big to bridge.
    The popularity of SYRIZA does however not come from the certainty of a workable, progressive, innovative program, but rather from experience that the austerity program followed by the previous government does not work, and a sense that "anything is better than what we have". Where Samaras often sounded like the Greek version of Sarah Palin, Tsipras did not present himself as the leftist leader with an innovative, workable alternative program. Instead, he became the reincarnation of Andreas Papandreou, father of George "there is money" Papandreou, and generally accepted architect of our highly corrupt, croney-based political system. Lots of promises, but little substance...
    All in all, today Greeks are presented with an impossible choice. They are asked to vote for either the proven failed austerity program which caused untold poverty and hardship throughout the country, or vote for a vague promise of a better tomorrow, while it is clear to every Greek that all "tomorrow" means is "not today"...

    The first firm election results are expected around 20.30 this evening, and will, as usual, be presented in real time trough the Singular Logic service. No link has been provided yet to the service, hopefully later today...
    Last edited by Ephilant; 25-01-2015 at 09:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    If you want to follow the election count real time, and see who wins/loses in the different areas and by how much, the people in Singular Logic are working their magic again. They have now provided the real link to the real time count. Follow the elections, as it happens, here.
    The first results will start appearing at some time during the evening, no specific time is given.You must select the electoral area you want to view from either the map or the dropdown list on the top right of the screen. If you leave the Party selection blank, you will get all the parties. If you select a specific party, you get the metrics for that party and it's candidates only. The system will also compare the results to the results from 2012, so you can see who gains and who loses. Just remember that these are the data that need to be presented to the courts for validation before they become the legally accepted election result, which is usually a formality, but recounts can be asked for. The main areas to look for are Athinon, Peiraios, Attikis and Thessalonikis. Combined, they represent more than 60% of the overall electorate.
    Last edited by Ephilant; 25-01-2015 at 09:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    If you want to follow the election count real time, and see who wins/loses in the different areas and by how much, the people in Singular Logic are working their magic again. They have now provided the real link to the real time count. Follow the elections, as it happens, here.
    The first results will start appearing at some time during the evening, no specific time is given.You must select the electoral area you want to view from either the map or the dropdown list on the top right of the screen. If you leave the Party selection blank, you will get all the parties. If you select a specific party, you get the metrics for that party and it's candidates only. The system will also compare the results to the results from 2012, so you can see who gains and who loses. Just remember that these are the data that need to be presented to the courts for validation before they become the legally accepted election result, which is usually a formality, but recounts can be asked for. The main areas to look for are Athinon, Peiraios, Attikis and Thessalonikis. Combined, they represent more than 60% of the overall electorate.
    Thanks Ephilant.

    Does the 50 bonus seats rule come into play ?

    On the face of it, with the KKE being clear it would not go into government with SYRIZA, a right coalition looks possible, as does a SYRIZA gov, depending on the choices people make today.

    Te Potami and other populist parties across Europe (should SYRIZA be counted in there) don't give me any feeling of confidence that they won't flip right and/or roll over if elected.

    But onwards and upwards is the only way to go, and right now, that means pushing the right out if at all possible, and then doing the best possible with whoever/whatever is elected - not hope, faith, illusions, but old fashioned political battle, left right.

    Good luck to voters in Greece today who want to end the old regime.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Quote Originally Posted by DCon View Post

    Attack

    12.53 Skai TV reports that a Golden Dawn representative was allegedly attacked at a polling station in Kallipoli. He was reportedly taken to a hospital while the unknown assailant fled on a motorbike.
    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Yes, the 50 seat rule still applies. The party that gets the most votes gets awarded the 50 extra seats. This was an old PASOK ployt to ensure a majority government, and was very conveniently not removed by ND when they came to power (Despite bitterly complaining about it when in opposition). The projected 144 seats for SYRIZA INCLUDE the 50 bonus seats.
    SYRIZA has promised to do away with this rule if they get into government. They have also promised a complete overhaul of the electoral system, a new constitution, a major overhaul of the environmental laws, a media licensing system, a complete overhaul of planning permission laws, taxing the Greek Orthodox Church,etc. All things which are very necessary to pull Greece out of the Dark Ages. Despite my misgivings, I do hope SYRIZA will indeed get a majority vote and be able to form a government that can push through its agenda unopposed. My main misgiving is SYRIZA itself. There are some serious hotheads in the party, and I can very well see SYRIZA itself falling apart under the strain, which would be a crying shame, as that would no doubt herald a return to the same-old, same-old.
    I don't see SYRIZA flipping, I do see them watering down their program a good bit, mainly because they don't really hold too much of a good hand. Havng said that, there is nothing left to lose for Greece, so playing hardball with the NATO bases, the immigrant problems etc might just work. Personally, I think it would be worth playing those cards. Especially Hollande would be fairly easy to convince to "reconsider" the position he has taken on Greece if it was made clear to him that it is just a matter of a stamp and some 500,000 immigrants could be on their way to France... And if the US and Germany were given 48 hours to take their toys out of the country, that might just trigger a little attitude adjustment in the right corners as well..

    And just for safety, this is the full link to the live, real-time election count, which is expected to show results from about 20.30 onwards (which would be 18.30 in your part of the world. http://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/v/pub...2params%22:{}}

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    Yes, the 50 seat rule still applies. The party that gets the most votes gets awarded the 50 extra seats. This was an old PASOK ployt to ensure a majority government, and was very conveniently not removed by ND when they came to power (Despite bitterly complaining about it when in opposition). The projected 144 seats for SYRIZA INCLUDE the 50 bonus seats.
    SYRIZA has promised to do away with this rule if they get into government. They have also promised a complete overhaul of the electoral system, a new constitution, a major overhaul of the environmental laws, a media licensing system, a complete overhaul of planning permission laws, taxing the Greek Orthodox Church,etc. All things which are very necessary to pull Greece out of the Dark Ages. Despite my misgivings, I do hope SYRIZA will indeed get a majority vote and be able to form a government that can push through its agenda unopposed. My main misgiving is SYRIZA itself. There are some serious hotheads in the party, and I can very well see SYRIZA itself falling apart under the strain, which would be a crying shame, as that would no doubt herald a return to the same-old, same-old.
    I don't see SYRIZA flipping, I do see them watering down their program a good bit, mainly because they don't really hold too much of a good hand. Havng said that, there is nothing left to lose for Greece, so playing hardball with the NATO bases, the immigrant problems etc might just work. Personally, I think it would be worth playing those cards. Especially Hollande would be fairly easy to convince to "reconsider" the position he has taken on Greece if it was made clear to him that it is just a matter of a stamp and some 500,000 immigrants could be on their way to France... And if the US and Germany were given 48 hours to take their toys out of the country, that might just trigger a little attitude adjustment in the right corners as well..

    And just for safety, this is the full link to the live, real-time election count, which is expected to show results from about 20.30 onwards (which would be 18.30 in your part of the world. http://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/v/pub...2params%22:{}}
    What's the buzz Ephilant ? Calm, or holiday mood ? Grim determination ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Ephilant I've a sudden urge to go out and deliberately offend the Austrian Coffee House culture by asking for a Frappé.

    Greek rebelliousness does be infectious betimes!

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    If anything, the mood is one of bewilderment. As I said before, people feel they are between a rock and a hard place. They are very angry for a variety of reasons. Angry with the outgoing government for selling the country down the tubes without putting up as much as an argument, leave alone a fight. Angry with SYRIZA because the promise of a better tomorrow is very vague, and they feel it's kept that way very deliberately. Angry with Papandreou for being his usual opportunistic self and trying to worm himself into a position of power-broker. Angry with To Potami for talking BS. There really is no clear-cut path out of the mess being presented by anyone, and that is what people need. No matter how outrageous or outlandish it is, if anybody had bothered to put together some kind of a roadmap instead of trading barbs with the opposition, they would have won this election hands down. Which is why it really is not such a bad thing that the GD boys are in jail. They know this, and they would have done what the other so miserably failed to do, and strenghtened their vote considerably. Not because people support them, but because they present a plan rather than promises. We all know what promises got us.
    Even today Samaras is still promising tax cuts, economic growth, even access to QE money. One of the not so bright SYRIZA candidates actually stated that Greece would simply print 1 billion Euro, with or without permission from the ECB... this things only create more public disgust in the political elite of Greece. People rightfully so take it as an insult to their intelligence and ability to understand politics. If there ever was a people politically aware, it's the Greeks. We may all have our opinions, but people here are actively engaged in politics. This country would be a prime candidate for a Swiss system, or proper direct democracy, it would work very well.
    Our political system needs a serious overhaul, and the only ones who have giving anything in terms of detail on how they will do this is SYRIZA. That is to a large extent part of the reason for their success. That famous light at the end of the tunnel... But what people really need to know is how long this tunnel is. And nobody bothered to give them as much as an estimate.
    Here is my prediction: We will have a SYRIZA led government (either full majority or coalition) on Tuesday. By June, we'll be back at the ballot box...

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    If anything, the mood is one of bewilderment. As I said before, people feel they are between a rock and a hard place. They are very angry for a variety of reasons. Angry with the outgoing government for selling the country down the tubes without putting up as much as an argument, leave alone a fight. Angry with SYRIZA because the promise of a better tomorrow is very vague, and they feel it's kept that way very deliberately. Angry with Papandreou for being his usual opportunistic self and trying to worm himself into a position of power-broker. Angry with To Potami for talking BS. There really is no clear-cut path out of the mess being presented by anyone, and that is what people need. No matter how outrageous or outlandish it is, if anybody had bothered to put together some kind of a roadmap instead of trading barbs with the opposition, they would have won this election hands down. Which is why it really is not such a bad thing that the GD boys are in jail. They know this, and they would have done what the other so miserably failed to do, and strenghtened their vote considerably. Not because people support them, but because they present a plan rather than promises. We all know what promises got us.
    Even today Samaras is still promising tax cuts, economic growth, even access to QE money. One of the not so bright SYRIZA candidates actually stated that Greece would simply print 1 billion Euro, with or without permission from the ECB... this things only create more public disgust in the political elite of Greece. People rightfully so take it as an insult to their intelligence and ability to understand politics. If there ever was a people politically aware, it's the Greeks. We may all have our opinions, but people here are actively engaged in politics. This country would be a prime candidate for a Swiss system, or proper direct democracy, it would work very well.
    Our political system needs a serious overhaul, and the only ones who have giving anything in terms of detail on how they will do this is SYRIZA. That is to a large extent part of the reason for their success. That famous light at the end of the tunnel... But what people really need to know is how long this tunnel is. And nobody bothered to give them as much as an estimate.
    Here is my prediction: We will have a SYRIZA led government (either full majority or coalition) on Tuesday. By June, we'll be back at the ballot box...
    Yes, The existing system does not work, and power is held by a minority who don't really need to make it work, as they can live off our backs simply by feathering their own nests, without fixing anything (QE being an example).

    The left parties are afraid to say it does not work (or hope it can be made to) so when it comes to getting elected propose yet more 'fixes'.

    Noonan tried that euro-printing scam with the Promissory Notes, but we are being made to pay be selling off the bonds.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Yanis Varoufakis, tipped to be Syriza's new finance minister, tells Paul Mason what his party would do if it gets into government in Greece, and admits the prospect of power in Europe is "scary". - 'We are going to destroy the Greek oligarchy system'

    1. Deal with humanitarian crisis.

    2. Reform (Triangle of Sin)> Procurement, Bankrupt Bankers, Media

    3. Renegotiate Loan Agreement

    Link contains video interview with Yanis - http://www.channel4.com/news/we-are-...igarchy-system
    Thomas Jefferson : Banking Establishments are More Dangerous to our Liberties than Standing Armies.

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Exit polls - SYRIZA: 35.5% - 39.5%, ND: 23% - 27%, Golden Dawn: 7% TO POTAMI: 7%, KKE: 5%, PASOK: 5%, Independent Greeks: 3.5% - 4%.

    The win was never in doubt but the more minor parties reach the 3% threshold, the bigger result Tsipras needs to tip him into a majority. Aside from the winners, I haven't entirely worked out how the system translates into seats for all parties, but ND are already sending out press releases rubbishing the exit polls like above.

    Majority or no, I think it is still shaping up to be one of the most left-leaning parliaments Europe has seen in decades. For all that's worth because while there will be tentative, no doubt short lived celebration, it is emblematic of how utterly beaten and unprepared left politics stands today that it takes this level of disaster to bring people on side, and even then. This election in many ways mirrors the Irish result of 2011. A collapse in support for the dominate order rather than an embrace of the alternative.

    I do not know what SYRIZA will achieve. Their enemies, our enemies, internal and external, quite literally global, will settle for nothing less than outright humiliation. Just as Greece, and Ireland, were made an example of in 2010, the pattern has been to repeat the same policy and punishment despite the results. The retribution is going to be severe. The people have nothing to be certain of except for the wretchedness of the path that was forced upon them. Today at least, they reject those demands.
    Like ·

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    ND are playing games again with the exit polls. Under Greek law it is illegal to publish these things until all the voting stations nation wide have closed. However, this ban specifically refers to "the press". And you are not considered "press" unless you belong to the Union of Journalists. What ND are complaining about are bloggers publishing these polls. ND themselves have always refused to allow bloggers the "press" status, because there are so many of them they can't control it. This is their own short-sighted policy coming back to bite them. They can refer this to the courts as much as they like (which is what they say they will do), it will get thrown out just like it di in 2012, when they played the same game. More fear mongering, nothing else...
    A collapse in support for the dominate order rather than an embrace of the alternative.
    Fully agree, sadly enough...

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Tsipras has just pulled the pin and thrown a handgranade in the whole political circus ring. He has told us that a SYRIZA (led) government will propose ex PM Kostas Karamalis for the presidency. For those not up on their Greek PM's, Karamanlis was PM from 2004 to 2009 in the NEA DEMOKRATIA majority government. His government was brought down by none other than Antonis Samaras, who then went on to lose the election he caused to PASOK... Many ND voters have never forgiving Samaras for this, and went on to vote ANEL, To Potami, and sadly enough GD. This could very well be a master stroke to get some of those 13% undecided voters on board and get that majority government he needs if he is to stand any chance of making an impact.
    Tsipras has said more than once that he will not stick to party allegence for appointments, but will pick who he thinks is best for the job. 1-0 to Tsipras on this one.

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    Default Re: Greece 2015, swan song or a new beginning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. FIVE View Post
    Exit polls - SYRIZA: 35.5% - 39.5%, ND: 23% - 27%, Golden Dawn: 7% TO POTAMI: 7%, KKE: 5%, PASOK: 5%, Independent Greeks: 3.5% - 4%.

    The win was never in doubt but the more minor parties reach the 3% threshold, the bigger result Tsipras needs to tip him into a majority. Aside from the winners, I haven't entirely worked out how the system translates into seats for all parties, but ND are already sending out press releases rubbishing the exit polls like above.

    Majority or no, I think it is still shaping up to be one of the most left-leaning parliaments Europe has seen in decades. For all that's worth because while there will be tentative, no doubt short lived celebration, it is emblematic of how utterly beaten and unprepared left politics stands today that it takes this level of disaster to bring people on side, and even then. This election in many ways mirrors the Irish result of 2011. A collapse in support for the dominate order rather than an embrace of the alternative.

    I do not know what SYRIZA will achieve. Their enemies, our enemies, internal and external, quite literally global, will settle for nothing less than outright humiliation. Just as Greece, and Ireland, were made an example of in 2010, the pattern has been to repeat the same policy and punishment despite the results. The retribution is going to be severe. The people have nothing to be certain of except for the wretchedness of the path that was forced upon them. Today at least, they reject those demands.
    Like ·
    Yes, Left politics has been on its knees and the far right ascendent. But in general, people only fight when they have to. SYRIZA is a definite left alliance, and appears to be politically social democratic and financially Keynesian. It shows no signs of intending to be revolutionary, to challenge the organisation of the State, or the NATO presence. It proposes to tax oligarchs, rather than expropriate and jail them. But election of SYRIZA will be a rallying point and a blow to the right consensus. Defending and rallying to the Greek people who are being impoverished, and organising to dislodge right governments in other EU states is a basic step for the left in Europe. On the one hand, yes, the right will try at all costs to disable, soften and remove SYRIZA and on the other, they are representing a disintegrating system and if challenged can't call all the shots.

    From a Left Unity meeting in London -

    Syriza’s policy


    Finally, Stathis Kouvelakis of Syriza heralded the meeting as the coming together of Europe’s left. It is rare, he stated, for an election to be such a central event in Europe. Kouvelakis noted that while, in the last two weeks, he apocalyptic rhetoric surrounding Syriza’s expected victory had faded, the Troika will still insist that Greece must stick to agreements signed under the previous governments. Kouvelakis drew a strong parallel between Greece and Spain, two countries where mobilisations reached their peak, but then could not go any further. In Greece, there was already a historical radical left with roots in society. It avoided the trap of allying with the old social democratic party, and was ready to propose the formation of a united anti-austerity left. There has been a complete social counter-revolution in Greece. Collective conventions have been ended, the minimum wage has been slashed, and the welfare state has been destroyed. The Memoranda, which in many cases have not even been read by Greek politicians, preside over all areas of economic policy in Greece. There has also been an increase in state authoritarianism.
    In response to this, Syriza has a clear programme which is comprised of three elements: debt, memoranda, and democracy. This is laid out in the Programme of Thessalloniki. There is a demand for the writing of Greece’s debt, similar to what Germany received in 1953. In addition, Syriza wants Greece to pay off the remaining debt according to the country’s growth levels, rather than through the achievement of impossible budget surpluses. In addition, there would be a moratorium on all debt payments, and the beginning of a renegotiation of debt at the European level.


    In social policy, a Syriza government would break definitively with austerity, restoring collective conventions and the minimum wage to the level it once was at. The punitive taxes which have been enforced on ordinary people will be ended. In reality, these taxes exist to make it easier for banks to repossess people’s homes. In response to the humanitarian crisis, free electricity would be provided to those deprived of it, food would be offered to the hungry and health coverage extended to the one third of the country currently lacking it. The objective of these measures is not solely humanitarian, but also to empower working people for the struggle that lies ahead. 300,000 jobs would be created through public investment. There would be an institutional reform, involving a media law to limit the oligarchy’s control over information.


    The programme may seem moderate, Kouvelakis said, but the big events in history do not happen in the name of radical ideas: they happen when meeting people’s basic needs becomes impossible without breaking with the status quo. Greece has a history of living through counter-revolutionary violence, for example at the end of the Second World War when the liberation movement was crushed, and in the 1960s when the military coup crushed the social movements. He emphasised the importance of the success of other leftist parties in Europe, and heralded the rise of Podemos.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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