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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora