Uncertainty in Greece Following the Anti-Austerity Vote

Athens, Greece

On Sunday the two primary centrist parties in Greece supporting the Euro Zone’s bailout package for Greece had disappointing results at the voting polls, leaving the country with no clear winner.

Greece’s conservative leader Antonis Samaras failed to find a coalition partner to form a new government on Monday after his New Democracy Party only received 18.8% of the votes.

Samaras has called for a national unity government to keep Greece in the Euro zone while re-negotiating a bailout program from the 17 member Euro zone and the IMF.

While adopting new austerity measures and cuts to government spending, Greece’s economy is facing economic distress and higher levels of unemployment.  

On Monday Syriza Party leader Alex Tsipras, leader of Greece’s far left party which was runner up during Sunday’s election, is seeking to assemble a new cabinet that will reject austerity measures imposed by the 17 member Euro zone countries. 

If Greece’s far left fails to form a new government, Greece will face repeat elections in mid June.

In June Greece is  is expected to secure about $11 billion euros more in budget cuts for 2013 in order to qualify for more bailout money ( 30 billion euro installment of its rescue loans from the 17 member Euro zone and the IMF).

During the past several months, Germany and France have led efforts across the Euro zone to enforce austerity measures on indebted countries such as Greece.

On Monday German leader Angela Merkel said that what’s most important is that the economic and fiscal measures that Greece has already agreed to be continued.

“There is no alternative,” she said. 

“Now is the time for Greece to figure out how to form a coalition government” Merkel emphasized.

France

France held elections over the week-end and elected Socialist leader Francois Hollande, a French political leader who claims to be committed to enacting pro-growth measures in France besides embracing the sole austerity approach of his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Europe is watching us, austerity can no longer be the only option,” Hollande said

Hollande is also calling for raising taxes on the wealthy in France and lowering the retirement age from 62 to 60.

 

 

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