Sunday, May 6, 2012

Greece: Nazis Bad, Tsipras Good!

Obviously the Golden Dawn party doing well in Greece is not what you want.  Their logo is at right, and it may remind you of something.

But the Greek election result still seems pretty good to me.  Nothing I've read indicates that Golden Dawn is going to end up in a governing coalition, and the bigger news is that the anti-austerity left wing Syriza party came in second.  Their leader, Alexis Tsipras, sounds good enough to me: “The crisis isn’t just Greek, it’s European,” he said on April 22. “There will either be a collective, sustainable and fair European solution to the public debt issue or it will collectively fall apart."

If Tsipras and the other anti-austerity parties can form a coalition government, and the newly elected Hollande is willing to push for greater accommodation of countries on the Eurozone periphery, maybe we'll end up with enough political pressure to move Eurozone policymakers in an anti-austerity direction. In light of this, there's room for Golden Dawn's success to actually be a positive thing.  If you like European political integration and you don't like Nazis (I take it that this is the stance of EU policymakers) you might be willing to make deals with a left-wing Greek coalition that keeps the Nazis from rising any further.

6 comments:

Richard Paul Hamilton said...

Let's not over estimate the success of the Golden Dawn- they got 6% at a time of major crisis and uncertainty.We shouldn't be complacent about it but keep it in perspective.
The biggest problem at the moment is the sectarian attitude of the leadership of the KKE (Greek Communists) who refuse to consider any coalition that they don't control. I hope that the rank and file of the KKE either put pressure on their leaders or bypass them entirely.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Sounds right to me, Hammo.

Edmund in Tokyo said...

I can’t see how you could get an anti-austerity coalition out of this.

The pro-austerity centre are only one seat short, so you’d need literally everybody else, from all the various left-wing permutations of the Judean People’s Front to that bloke representing the homo-erotic extreme right who wants to keep Turkish immigrants out with landmines. I don’t think anyone’s ever put together a coalition that grand.

If the left had a majority you could see them putting together a deal with PASOK, but they don’t have that either.

I guess the least pessimistic outcome is for Hollande to talk to Merkel and come up with something stimulative in addition to the fiscal pact, then ask the voters of Greece to try again.

Edmund in Tokyo said...

PS If I was in charge of ND or PASOK right now I think I’d agree to let Tsipiras be Prime Minister, and tell him to go off and negotiate with Merkel for the better deal he seems to think he can get and let us know how he got on.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Thanks, Edmund, I hadn't counted the votes. The deal you describe sounds good.

Who's the landmine guy from the homoerotic extreme right?

Edmund in Tokyo said...

The guy you mentioned upthread. I’m not completely sure what the homo-erotic angle is, but he surrounds himself with muscular men in tight T-shorts. It’s kind-of Mussolini meets The Village People.