Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won the snap election held Sunday (Sept. 20) by more than 35%—an outcome will keep his left-wing Syriza party in power. During the days leading up to the election, support increased for New Democracy, a political party described by NACM Economist Chris Kuehl as a “center-right and pro-European partner.” However, the opposing group only received 28% of the vote.
“The rationale for continued support of Tsipras is somewhat convoluted, but there is logic to it for the average Greek,” said Kuehl. “They have accepted the reality of an austerity plan; they fought the Europeans and they lost. The issue now is how far the EU [European Union] will be allowed to go and when will all that promised help come?”
A large percentage of the voting population does not trust a pro-European party to get the best deal possible, Kuehl explained, and during the days leading up to the election, Tsipras appeared determine to compromise on deals that satisfy both sides. “Throughout the campaigns waged by Syriza, there have been consistent themes and one of these has been Greeks are being punished for the sins of others,” Kuehl said. “It was not the current government that got Greece in this mess and it is unfair to blame them. Furthermore the Greek people are not to blame for the idiotic decisions made by their leaders. This is why the draconian demands made by the EU are unfair.”
The big question now is what happens next? Kuehl cites three fundamental steps: First, calm the current situation down and return to a sense of normalcy; second, Greece and Europe must work together to rebuild the Greek economy and invest in developing industries; and third, taxes must be collected.
- Jennifer Lehman, NACM marketing and communications associate