Ekloges 2015: Greece Votes In Historic For Europe Election

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in June 2012, when Greece last voted to choose its ruling party not once but twice, the Eurozone ground to a halt in anticipation of a nailbiliting outcome that could have seen the exit of Greece from the Euro and the gradual, at first, collapse of the artificial European political union. It was this vote, which saw the hardline socialist, "anti-bailout" Syriza lose by the smallest of margins, that led the surge in peripheral yields to record highs in the weeks following, and was the catalyst for Draghi's infamous "whatever it takes" speech in July 2012, which culminated last week with the launch of the ECB's Q€.

Today, Greece votes again in an election that came to be after the now deeply unpopular Prime Minister failed to muster enough support for his presidential candidate, and here, courtesy of @damomac, is a sampling of the nearly 20 "choices" the Greek long-suffering population is presented with.

 

What is at stake for Greece today? Largely the same things as in 2012, which means an appropriate question is what is at stake for Europe. The answer: a lot, because suddenly the fate of the European monetary union is in the hands of some 9.8 million eligible to vote Greeks: something the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels had hoped to avoid in perpetuity. And with the leading candidate on war footing with Brussels (if only for the time being) the next few days in Europe will be quite interesting:  "In Greece, democracy will return," the party's 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras told a throng of cameras as he voted in Athens. "The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity."

Here is a quick summary of the day's events from Deutsche Welle:

Greek voters are going to the polls in an election that is being closely watched all over the EU. The vote could result in a party taking power that wants to renegotiate the terms of Greece's international bailout.

 

 

Opinion polls, published on Friday, the last day of the election campaign, gave the far left, anti-austerity Syriza party, led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras a clear lead over the governing conservative New Democracy party, led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

 

Nine separate polls gave Syriza a lead of anywhere from 2.8 percent over New Democracy, but they also indicated that around 10 percent of Greece's nearly 10 million eligible voters remained undecided.

 

As voters cast their ballots this Sunday, they will be presented with a clear choice; to place their faith in the painful austerity measures introduced by Samaras' government to comply with the terms of Greece's international bailout and fix the country's finances long-term - or to hitch their wagon to Tsipras' promises to roll back the austerity measures and negotiate more favorable terms.

 

In his final appeal to the voters on Friday, Samaras urged Greeks to reelect his government, saying it sould be crazy to take a chance on Syriza just when the austerity measures he introduced could be about to pay off.

 

"Syriza will turn all of Europe against Greece.... They don't understand Europe, they don't believe in Europe," Samaras said at a campaign rally in Athens. However, with an unemployment rate of 25 percent, it is no secret that this is a tough sell.

 

For his part, Tsipras said he planned to restore Greece's dignity by rolling back public sector layoffs, pay and pension cuts, and getting the country's creditors to write off much of its public debt.

 

What remains unclear is whether, if elected, he will be able to deliver on these promises. Critics have also warned that trying to renegotiate the terms of Greece's bailout with the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, could lead the "Grexit" scenario, in which the country would wind up leaving the eurozone. Syriza has said that it wants Greece to remain in the eurozone, and on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seen by many Greeks as the driving force behind the tough terms of the bailout, expressed a similar sentiment.

 

"At the heart of our principles lies solidarity. I want Greece, despite the difficulties, to remain part of our story," Merkel said.

While Tsipras promises the unachievable, the population - eager to take a chance on anyone - will likely believe him. As Reuters reports, Tsipras' campaign slogan "Hope is coming!" has resonated with austerity-weary voters, despite Samaras' warnings that a Syriza government could bankrupt Greece.

"We are voting for Alexis Tsipras to put an end to this misery," said Stavroula Gourdourou, an unemployed mother who voted for the ruling conservatives in 2012. "Enough is enough! We won't let them destroy our children."

Which is also why Syriza's victory is assured. The only question is how big the majority will be and whether Syriza will have an absolute majority.

Which means that the fate of Greece will not be in the hands of the big parties, but in the small ones, with the question being how many pass the critical 3% threshold and whether enough do to prevent Syriza from getting an outright majority in parliament.

Ironically, it may be up to that veteran of Greek politics, George Papandreou, and his new KDS party, to determine if Syriza gets an absolute majority: something which will be unlikely if KDS crosses the 3% threshold.

Here is Macropolis' explanation of why the "also ran" parties are crucial this time around: "This time round, a total of 22 parties (including four coalitions) are running in the election. Assuming that seven of them will make it into parliament (Syriza, New Democracy, Potami, KKE, Pasok, Independent Greeks and Golden Dawn), recent opinion polls suggest that the “also rans” could take anything from 5 to 8 percent. Or even more. Pushing up the figure will be the share of the vote taken by former prime minister George Papandreou’s Movement of Democratic Socialists, leftwing antiausterity ANTARSYA, nationalist LAOS, and Democratic Left, all of which are not expected to make it into parliament."

More:

When the counting of votes gets underway in Greece’s election on Sunday night, most eyes will be focused on election favourite Syriza’s tally to see if the leftist party stands a chance of gaining an overall majority in the new parliament. But under the Greek electoral system, determining whether the biggest party achieves an overall majority just doesn’t depend on its share of the vote, as important as that may be. One of the quirks of the system is that a host of other parties also play a major role in whether the main party gets to rule alone or not.

 

The political equivalent of the “also rans” in horseracing, these are the parties that fail to clear the three percent hurdle to enter parliament. The aggregate of the “also rans” is always important because if the percentage gained by these small parties totals 5 percent, for example, the winning party would need 38.4 percent to take 151 seats. If the total support for parties not entering Parliament reaches 10 percent, the threshold for the victorious party falls to 36.4.

 

The other words: the higher the share of the “also rans”, the easier it is for the poll-topping party to form a single-party government and avoid a coalition.

 

While some of these parties are familiar, like the far-right LAOS party that was in parliament until 2012, most are so obscure that only hardened political anoraks will have never heard of them, like numerous groups sporting the word “communist” in their title or the fantastically named perennial contestant run by a farmer in northern Greece called “Independent Innovative Left, Renewed Right, Renewed PASOK, Renewed New Democracy, No to War, Party of Business ‘I Give Away Land, I Give Away Debts, I Save Lives,’ Panagriarian Workers Movement of Greece”.

 

As previous results show, these parties are neither are they small in number, nor are the percentages they receive anything to be scoffed at.

 

In the first of the elections in 2012, for example, a record 25 “also rans” won a staggering 1.2 million votes, or some 19 percent of the total. Taken together, that made them more successful than New Democracy, which took 1.19 million votes (18.85 percent).

 

In the second election in June, the 15 of them who could afford to run again took 368,277 votes, or almost 6 percent. That was more than the communist KKE received and just less than Democratic Left, which won 17 seats.

And then there is of course also the question of just how "hard line" Tsipras really is: assuming he does get an absolute majority, will he dare to end the gravy train of handouts, as meager as they may have been, from Germany and Brussels over the past 6 years just to risk returning to the Drahcma, and even more pain, if only for the next 6-12 months as Greece has its long-overdue external adjustment which would also allow Greece to finally return to growth but only after the very painful preliminary period. A period that would be even more painful for the rest of Europe as one after another peripheral nation, also drowning in unemployment, decides to take the Greek route?

According to Reuters, despite all the bluster and rhetoric, Tsipras will most likely just continue the same Euro-directed show and dance.

Renouncing much of the firebrand rhetoric that was once his hallmark, Tsipras has promised to keep Greece in the euro and dropped threats to "tear up" the tough requirements of its 240 billion euro bailout.

 

He has promised to renegotiate a deal with the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund "troika" and write off much of Greece's 320 billion-euro debt, despite clear signs from partners including Germany that they would refuse.

 

At the same time, he wants to raise the minimum wage, cut power prices for low income families, cut taxes and reverse pension and public sector pay cuts.

We shall have the answers soon: the first exit polls hit at 7pm local Time (noon Eastern) with the first official projections due out just over two hours later, at 9:30pm local. Once available, the official results will be updated in real-time on the following map.

We will provide updates during this historic for Greece and the Eurozone day, but in the meantime, here are some additional notable comments from twitter.

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lolmao500's picture

If Syriza follows their plan, how long before a coup? A week? Exit polls say Syriza has 40%...

SheepRevolution's picture

They'll win... and then sell themselves out to Brussels. Greek folks gets screwed anyhow, anyway.

Headbanger's picture

Or sell out to Russia!

Ya never know the way things are going..

tdag's picture

"The answer, as of this moment, is in the hands of some 9.8 million eligible to vote Greeks..."

hahahahahahahaaaa

kliguy38's picture

We "Diebold" some folks

Richard Chesler's picture

Give me control of counting of the votes and I care not who shows up to the polls - Some Bankster.

 

Ghordius's picture

Greece uses paper ballots, classic old style. perhaps instead of assuming Diebold in Greece, you could ask for a Greek-style electoral system in your country

ask your congressman or whatever similar you have. they'll give you very interesting responses, I'm sure of that

layman_please's picture

here in estonia, we can vote via internet. i shit you not. last election's electronic database was ordered to be deleted by the government as the opposition started to question the results, while the paper ballots are kept forever. how about that?

kliguy38's picture

exactly.....so why waste a keystroke on it........all decided for you

WayBehind's picture

Anyone thinking that EU/US would allow Syriza to win needs to visit a shrink ...

Latina Lover's picture

I wonder if the EU also uses Diebolt machines to count votes...

WakeUpPeeeeeople's picture

Desperate times breed desperate measures. Sort of how Germany ended up with a Hitler.

Max Cynical's picture

Victoria Nuland's pick is really the only one that matters.

15horses1donkey's picture

Didn't you know? You have to delete the results of electronic elections. If you kept them, results could be hacked, and a false claim could be made POST election. Deleting the results is good.

Upset Your Worries's picture

Unless in future they were stored on the block chain.

El Vaquero's picture

Paper ballot elections were rigged all the time in Northern New Mexico.  They'd just vote for people who didn't vote, and dead people would vote.  It ran (and probably still does, to an extent,) on a  patron system.  You want election security?  You have to make multiple redundancies so that 4 or 5 seperate things need to be cheated simultaneously. 

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

I still love how people call this shit austerity. They have been going deeper and deeper into debt every single year, just like every other fucking country in the EU , and they have the nerve to call it fucking austerity. If it was austerity, they would be spending less than they took in. This is bullshit. I kinda hope these lefties win and speed up the demise of the euro currency and the EU, as that would help all the European people out, but let's thing about what these people are promises by an end to (fake) austerity: that they will start spending more and more money, which either must be borrowed or printed, which will drive them more into debt, which will eat up more and more of their tax revenues, dragging the economy down even further. Same as it always happens, until they just default on everything or hyperinflate. What I haven't heard is a candidate or party in Greece telling people that it isn't the proper role of govt to manage the entire economy or take care of people from cradle to grave, and that by trying to do so, the govt has grown into a bloated monstrosity that is the cause of all this. Therefore the solution is to DRASTICALLY reduce the size of govt. Is there such a party or candidate in Greece? Or all they all just different forms of welfare statists?

Took Red Pill's picture

at least the Greeks have 20 choices. In the US it's 2 (and there's not much difference between them)

Save_America1st's picture

20 choices between a bunch of scumbag nazis, commies, and the vampire squids?

Thats like getting to vote for which caliber weapon you want to be executed with.

Ghordius's picture

so you prefer the choice to be restricted to two by two mainstream parties only? do you call independents in America "a bunch of scumbag nazis, commies, and the vampire squids", too?

in Greece, all parties have the same status as independents have in America. and every and each one can face failure, and be voted out of parliament. think for a moment about this detail

El Vaquero's picture

In the US, we only have two choices, even with the independants, at least on the national level. 

 

Choice 1:  Politicians who have been bought out by major corporate interests.

Choice 2:  Politicians who will be bought out by major corporate interests.

 

Having 2 or 5 or 20 parties isn't going to fix that. 

TheReplacement's picture

You can make all the independent parties you want in the US.  Good luck getting around the law and actually making it onto the ballot.

manofthenorth's picture

In America we have one party, "the filthy rich scumbag party". Just look at billionaire scumbag  Michael Bloomberg the Democrat Independent Republican, what a crock of fucking shit that guy is. Money wins every election in America. In American Elections we have candidates with 10% approval ratings that get re-elected 90% of the time. What the fuck is that people. When we fix that little problem maybe then we can waste some of our time talking shit about how other peoples elections work and who they vote for.

El Vaquero's picture

"It's all them other congresscritters, not mine!  Mine is good!"

 

In the US, oligarchs figured out that, so long as some minimum amount of pork goes to the homestate, they can rig the candidates themselves. 

Save_America1st's picture

@Ghordius

I don't prefer 99% of the sociopaths who want to rule over me in America either.  I don't vote for any of them.  I don't fall for the false Right vs Left paradigm that's been set up to divide our country along bullshit party lines.

I have written in my own Libertarian/Constiutionally Conservative candidates before for president and I vote in local elections sometimes if someone seems not to be a fucking psychopath and might actually try to do something right.  But that's very rare. 

I voted "against" obama but that proved to be futal for our country as well.  Too many sheep-tards wanting to join the FSA.  That stands for Free Shit Army...you know...the same kinds of losers that Europe is now plagued with.  Gimmee gimmee gimmee and let's all go on vacation.  Idiots.

Nearly everyone all over the entire world who runs for some kind of office are all usually totally morally and ethically corrupt to the core and just want to rule other people's lives while enriching their own and grabbing whatever power they can.  Fuck 'em all.

I read that article yesterday about Greek women doctors having to become prostitutes to make money and one part really stood out.  The part where the 30 something's were whining that they couldn't afford to shop or party or go on vacation anymore.  That they just want a better future so that they could "go on vacation".  What a bunch of fucking idiots. 

 

 

Looks like the exit polls are showing that the commie scumbags are winning in Greece.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GREECE_ELECTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-25-12-09-15

Yep...good luck with that, Greece.  You're gonna need it. 

agent default's picture

Yeah right.  Remember Varoufakis?  Well he is running for MP with Syriza.  He was also employed and funded by the George Soros Foundation.  Get it? Good.

Salah's picture

Actually something remarkable is cookin'....Moon & Uranus in conjunction the last 8 hrs, and for the next 8 (always good for people feeling shit-upon) and Sun + 4 planets bunched up at less than 30 degrees (indicates strong feelings for change--"our way").  So look for some serious iconoclastic collectivism, with a return to Greece's maritime "roots".  Could be fun, for them, not the E.U.

Arrowflinger's picture

A planetary gangbang cannot ruin this disaster

Fed-up with being Sick and Tired's picture

YOU GOT IT.  Politicians all over are just about TALK.  NOTHING fundamental will change because the Giant Vampire Squid will not allow it.  We all have to remember that the entire world is now run by Plutocracies.

Fed-up with being Sick and Tired's picture

YOU GOT IT.  Politicians all over are just about TALK.  NOTHING fundamental will change because the Giant Vampire Squid will not allow it.  We all have to remember that the entire world is now run by Plutocracies.

agent default's picture

Syriza will do a 180 by midnight if they even suspect they are close to winning this.

new game's picture

"whatever it takes" to control the outcome-more drama, and he is different?

if elected and the pile of money will be sitting on the table, he has to ask himself only one question? do i take it? he is a politician, so yes he will slide the pile to his side and start the process of doublespeak. the greeks will once again be fucked by a politician that caves to self interest and the people will go back to trying to survive on an ever shrinking economy.

 

TheReplacement's picture

The Greeks are hosed if he is genuine.  The Greeks are hosed if he is a sellout.  The Greeks are just hosed period.

swissaustrian's picture

Syriza's intellectual leaders are a bunch of commie and progressive ivory tower economists, some from very wealthy oligarchic families:

https://translate.google.ch/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=...

smells like controlled opposition.

Add on to that Greek bonds are not part of the ECB QE program and you get the picture: Greece is gonna leave the Euro soon and Syriza will orchestrate the move. The EU governments already know it. Thats why Syriza is allowed to win now. Germany said they are prepared for a Grexit as well.

El Vaquero's picture

Controlled or not, the Greek people aren't going to get what they think they're going to get.  Greece has no good options, period. 

remain calm's picture

Greece is a shit sandwhich. Eventually it will be digested and come out, you guessed it Shit again

Aeternus's picture

This is like a bad nightmare that never ends, get it over with already.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGYaFMFU63U

snodgrass's picture

The Eurocrats will instigate yet another terrorist event to keep Greece in line and provide a distraction. I hope by now everyone knows that these "terrorist" events are sponsored by the bankers and the government.

 

"We shall have world government whether or not you like it, by conquest or consent."

Statement by Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member James Warburg to The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 17th, l950

Arrowflinger's picture

Socrates was forced to drink hemlock. There is nothing new under the sun in Greece. Truth and knowledge are poisoned. Lets get Syriza now? This might turn into a polonium milkshake.

falak pema's picture

Truth and Knowledge survived Socrates's death.

You are alluding to the OPPOSITE of what happened.

Its Socrates's legacy that CREATED western civilization.

But polonium milkshake remains true as truth and knowledge are not enuff to fight human nature's "natural" penchants.

We never learn even as we learn more and more. Its a case of a leaking barrel. 

Some paradox. 

Maybe you should copyright "polonium milkshake" and become an Oligarch.

Bob's picture

Observers are already announcing exit polls showing Syriza with a percentage win large enough to form govt:

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150125/1017332424.html

freeromios's picture

I agree with the Arrowflinger. SYRIZA is one more part of the chain leading Greece to its demise and utter destruction,

agent default's picture

Syriza reminds me of Obama's first election run.  Hope, Change and at the end of the charade, bullshit in a glass.

Max Cynical's picture

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. 

agent default's picture

What drugs are you taking, and were can I find some for myself.