In-spite of Election results, Greece stands on knife’s edge

Greeks who have been caught up in the wave of austerity breathed a huge sigh of relief as they voted to show the World about their intention to stay in the Euro. However, the signs are all not positive, it would take a herculean task for the newly elected government to solve the problems and get the economy back on its feet.

The people of Greece are optimistic and euphoric about the election results. This gives the public some breathing space after the mayhem that has surrounded the nation over the past few months and the possibility of exiting the Euro.

The conservatives who’ve received the vote of confidence from the people of Greece will go forward with the bailout deal under which the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have demanded punishing austerity policies.

The second election in the last two months was held in the fear of the poll going either way. The people of Greece have been largely polarized in their opinions and it could have been anybody’s game. People have been torn between the opinions, where people have been willing to go to any lengths of austerity to ensure sure Greece’s place in the Euro, whereas on the contrary, another section of people have backed the leftist SYRIZA party who have been averse to the idea of a bailout. The former ideology seems to have sufficed.

European Union Partners seek assurance from Greece before second bailout

Finance Ministers of the 17-nation euro zone arrived in Brussels for talks about Greece’s second international bailout in two years. Though the Greek political leaders were ready to settle for a deal that required harsh austerity measures and reforms from the country, their international backers weren’t too convinced.

European Union partners and International Monetary Fund feel they have good reason to do so after a series of broken promises from Greece. EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the Greek government had to prove through its concrete actions to its European partners that the second bailout will work. The euro zone warned that there will be no approval for the second program, unless Athens proves itself.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, leaders of the three coalition parties and chief EU and IMF inspectors discussed various issues but the pressing and sensitive issue of pension cuts was left unsolved. But, a 300 million euro gap was bridged that night. Ministers present were firm on their belief that Greece needs to promise practical action and it should follow through with implementation.

The reforms that the country readily agreed to will cause big changes in the standard of living of the Greeks. The country’s two major labor unions called for a strike against these reforms. Greece is already in its fifth year of recession and these austerity measures will cause the minimum wage to fall by 22 percent.


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