News / Europe

Greece Ponders Second Election in 6 Weeks

Greece Ponders Second Election in 6 Weeks
Greece Ponders Second Election in 6 Weeks
Dominic Laurie
Greeks vote for a government for the second time in six weeks on Sunday. The last election, in May, gave no conclusive outcome. And tempers are rising as politicians from right and left fight for votes.
 
The sound of arguing is not a school classroom. It is a TV political debate just days before Greece’s election. 
 
Such things are supposed to be passionate but good-mannered. But Greece is in its fifth year of recession and there is anger in the air.
 
Six or so of the politicians are sitting round a table. Water gets thrown in someone’s face. The moderator tries to keep calm. But after trading insults with others, the spokesman of the far-right Golden Dawn party lunges at two left-wing guests, then slaps one from the Communist Party on the cheek. An arrest warrant is then sent out for the Golden Dawn spokesman.
 
The tension between right and left has also expressed itself in the streets. The far right is gaining ground, something that worries some protesters. The two parties that traditionally ruled Greece for almost 40 years have lost millions of votes. Many Greeks blame them for the mess the country is in. 
 
But the far left is gaining even more. 
 
Alexis Tsipras heads the radical left Syriza party. In a matter of months, he has gone from relative obscurity to leading many of the recent polls. He says the terms of Greece’s bailout are too painful for his country.
 
He says that if Greece’s bailout terms are not renegotiated, now that they are on a "knife edge," then catastrophe will be unavoidable. He says the "fire" will become unquenchable and will not be limited to Greece and the southern European countries.
 
The worst case scenario Tsipras talks about involves a forced return to the drachma. Greece thought it had left that currency behind forever more than 10 years ago. Vassilis Kapsis sits at home with his wife Nella. He says a return to the drachma would be a disaster.
 
It would mean less money in my pocket, he says, but also a price increase for goods. He says for people like him, with children, it will be a very difficult thing.
 
Greek expert Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos from Birkbeck College at the University of London, says that despite the rise of political extremes in Greece, one thing almost everyone can agree on is that they want to keep the euro.

“Absolutely, there is support for that view across all the main political parties. There are some fringe parties like [the] communists that explicitly say we want to withdraw from the euro. But this proposition has been comprehensively defeated both in May, and I think it will be defeated again on Sunday," he said. 
 
Dimitrakopoulos says another thing that unites the Greeks is that they do not want another election. Two in six weeks is enough. But opinion polls say there will be no clear winner. Another messy coalition appears to be the most likely option.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid