Greece Bailout: What we should expect from today's voting?
by Dimitris Rapidis (July 15, 2015)
The Euro Summit has forced the Greek government to legislate these fiscal measures so that official discussions on the bailout package could start between the institutions. Inevitably this set of measures has broken unity in Syriza with many MPs being ready to vote against or abstain. But the problem gets bigger for the political stability in the country.
PM Tsipras and his government are going to have the support of (possibly) the most MPs of its coalition party, the Independent Greeks, but certainly the majority of the MPs from New Democracy PASOK and The River. Therefore, fiscal measures will pass through the Parliament but Syriza will no longer exist as we know it. Even if PM Tsipras resigns his MPs and Ministers that are going to object this bailout, the rupture inside Syriza is permanent. Between MPs, between members of the party, between the people that voted for Syriza that are now deeply confused and disappointed.
With regards to political stability in Greece, the growing revolt in Syriza is generating an unstable political ecosystem in the Parliament, as PM Tsipras will be obliged to cooperate with pro-austerity opposition parties, probably forming a type of coalition government. Should the measures pass, it is highly likely that opposition parties will either demand to be part of the government or force PM Tsipras to call for elections. In both scenarios, it is certain that the political establishment in Greece as we know it since the 1970s will collapse, with none of the parties being able to form a majority government. This will push towards broader coalition governments, that per se is a good option, although without answering or dealing with the immense political impasse of the country: what will be the reaction of the Greek society and how intra-political struggles and goals will be controlled and managed for the sake of political stability?
Another scenario, with or without snap elections, is the partition of Syriza and the creation of another party formed by ex-Syriza MPs, that will certainly play its role standing against austerity and in favor of return to national currency. Furthermore, there is also a great possibility that Golden Dawn, the extreme right party to gain support, only if it softens its rhetoric against migration and make it more populist, encompassing this crucial part of floating voters that is now disappointed and furious.
Fact remains that Greece was never called to take such decisions that define its future as member-state of EU and Eurozone, as sensitive arm of NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean, as a nation that has to stop building its capacity in the sand or the illusive safety nets of the European establishment.
It is early to broaden our analysis on that, as we have to wait what will happen today in the Greek Parliament. No matter what, Syriza lost a unique chance.
*Dimitris Rapidis is Director of Bridging Europe
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