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Pyrrhic victory for the left in Greece

March 20 category:World
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Pyrrhic victory for the left in Greece

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, November 14, 2010 in Athens.

REUTERS / John Kolesidis

The Greeks went to the polls on November 14 dimance for the second round of local elections. This consultation was also the first since the implementation of an austerity plan which resulted, for six months, by measures of drastic economies and a general decline in living standards. Despite the inevitably unpopular policy and anti-austerity campaign by the conservative opposition, PASOK, the Socialist Party of Prime Minister George Papandreou, left, after this consultation, the first training.

Probably because many Greeks feel that their country with a debt of € 300 billion and a budget deficit in 2009 to 15% - this is the new figure, revised upwards, published by Eurostat, the European office of the statistically had no choice. "Nobody likes this policy, but most people see it as a lesser evil" summarizes an official who also says having more "expense spared" from the state has eliminated its premiums, or about 20 % of salary. The city of Athens can swing to the left for the first time in 24 years.

Abstention record

We are far, however a yes "resounding." For the Greeks, who do not usually sulk urns were this time massively abstained. Over a two voters lacked the call on Sunday, they were 40% in the first round.

Also some dismay, this apparent lack of interest in the consultation expressed a deep distrust of politicians, collectively guilty of having brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The taxi driver to the madam periptero, one of the kiosks that sell cigarettes, newspapers and a bit of everything, the speech is the same: "we are not responsible for the crisis, it is unfair that is for us to pay. "

The Prime Minister announced early elections if he lost an election that had become a sort of referendum on his policies. It is now assured to continue the country's recovery. But it is far from having succeeded in reconciling the Greeks with their State ... Especially since recession is felt acutely.

No improvement

Closed stores, rising unemployment, wages amputees ... In 2010, the Greek economy is expected to undergo a further contraction could be around 4%, after the one (2%) in 2009. And the authorities still expect negative growth in 2011. The next year's budget will again be marked with the seal of rigor.

Papandreou, however, promised that there would be no further cuts in wages and pensions, nor new taxes. He also spoke for the first time this November 14, hours after the opening of polling stations, the possible rescheduling of the repayment of the loan of 110 billion euros agreed to his country by area and was the International Monetary Fund .

This November 15, a delegation of the "troika" - the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission- was expected in Athens. It should give the green light to the release of a new tranche of € 9 billion to be paid in December.

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