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Iain Anderson

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Greece - Back From the Brink?

Posted: 18/06/2012 00:00

We might have just seen Greece and Europe step back from the brink this weekend.

The vast majority of the Greek people always believed their future lies firmly in Europe. All the main parties in this weekend's re-run election from New Democracy to Syriza firmly represented that view.

But Greek voters were offered an inherent contradiction by leading contender Alexis Tsipras from Syriza in particular - more Europe but an unwillingness to sign up to the facts of life!

With mass youth unemployment in Greece well over 50%, around 800m EUROS flowing out of the country every day in the past few weeks and 10 per cent of mainly richer voters leaving the country in the past year I can see why many Greeks saw an attraction in his policies.

And it is not surprising that younger Greeks have supported him more than the older parties with a higher percentage than in the first round.

But his platform would have been met with a firm 'nein' from Germany creating an impasse which threatened the entire European economy.

Greeks have stepped back from that moment.

Undoubtedly Greece has a long, hard road ahead of it - but it has decided that being in Europe means signing up to what needs to be done. There is undoubtedly set to be mass protest and the new coalition Government will need to keep its nerve.

The last thing Europe and Greece needs is another set of elections and more indecision. We need to see the new Greek government formed within hours committed to paying its way in the world.

And if they do we must see a strong welcome from Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande for the new Greek government's efforts.

But a welcome is not enough. Most Greek voters have stepped back from the brink and Europe needs to acknowledge that move in some way.

I'm not a really a football fan but something drew me to the Greek Euro2012 match against Russia at the weekend. It seemed just the antidote to Eurogeddon and I was certainly rooting for Greece in their hour of need.

I don't know if the football win had any impact on the Greek electorate. But after today - we should all continue to root for Greece.

 

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