Posts tagged Greece


2012 Greek Parliamentary Elections (from themonkeycage.org):
This is a historic low for the two dominant parties ruling Greece since the collapse of the Junta in 1974, PASOK and Nea Demokratia.  Together they garnered only 33% of the vote. The result was hard to anticipate—especially the second place for the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA), with 16,77%. Less unexpected was the electoral success of Independent Hellenes (10,6%) on the right and Golden Dawn on the far right (7%). A coalition government seems highly unlikely at the moment if one considers tonight’s statements by party leaders. It is interesting to note that more than 19% (!) of the vote was garnered by parties that did not ultimately make it to the parliament. These include: Popular Orthodox Rally-LAOS, Democratic Alliance, DRASI (Action), Dimiourgia Xana (Recreate Greece), Social Agreement (Koinoniki Symfonia), and the Green Party (Oikologoi Prasinoi). Finally, 35% of the Greek electorate—more than 3 million people—did not go to vote. These people may now be regretting their choice to not participate.

There are many messages that one can draw. People voted against the two-party system—that can no longer fulfill its side of the “patronage contract”—and against austerity measures. Yet, they voted—at least nominally—in favor of a European future. Another thing that is apparent is that the current electoral law produces odd and hardly representative results. For instance New Democracy received 2 percentage points more than the Coalition of Radical Left but this difference resulted in 56 more seats for the former party. Moreover, as a result of fragmentation of the party system, parties that did not make it to the parliament have collectively received a higher percentage than the first party, which receives 108 seats!
The European leaders are numb and will probably wait and see whether a government can be formed before they react to the result. This electoral result was not really expected and it increases the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Eurozone since a stable government in Greece seems unlikely. If we combine the Greek result with Hollande’s victory in France—and the expected friction in Franco-German relations—the markets will most likely react negatively and remain volatile until things clear out.

This is a good overview of the recent Greek elections. As well as an excellent example of the impact electoral system has on results. Case in point: The largest block of votes went to parties that won no seats in the legislature, and equal to 102 seats for the first place part.

2012 Greek Parliamentary Elections (from themonkeycage.org):

This is a historic low for the two dominant parties ruling Greece since the collapse of the Junta in 1974, PASOK and Nea Demokratia.  Together they garnered only 33% of the vote. The result was hard to anticipate—especially the second place for the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA), with 16,77%. Less unexpected was the electoral success of Independent Hellenes (10,6%) on the right and Golden Dawn on the far right (7%). A coalition government seems highly unlikely at the moment if one considers tonight’s statements by party leaders. It is interesting to note that more than 19% (!) of the vote was garnered by parties that did not ultimately make it to the parliament. These include: Popular Orthodox Rally-LAOS, Democratic Alliance, DRASI (Action), Dimiourgia Xana (Recreate Greece), Social Agreement (Koinoniki Symfonia), and the Green Party (Oikologoi Prasinoi). Finally, 35% of the Greek electorate—more than 3 million people—did not go to vote. These people may now be regretting their choice to not participate.

There are many messages that one can draw. People voted against the two-party system—that can no longer fulfill its side of the “patronage contract”—and against austerity measures. Yet, they voted—at least nominally—in favor of a European future. Another thing that is apparent is that the current electoral law produces odd and hardly representative results. For instance New Democracy received 2 percentage points more than the Coalition of Radical Left but this difference resulted in 56 more seats for the former party. Moreover, as a result of fragmentation of the party system, parties that did not make it to the parliament have collectively received a higher percentage than the first party, which receives 108 seats!

The European leaders are numb and will probably wait and see whether a government can be formed before they react to the result. This electoral result was not really expected and it increases the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Eurozone since a stable government in Greece seems unlikely. If we combine the Greek result with Hollande’s victory in France—and the expected friction in Franco-German relations—the markets will most likely react negatively and remain volatile until things clear out.

This is a good overview of the recent Greek elections. As well as an excellent example of the impact electoral system has on results. Case in point: The largest block of votes went to parties that won no seats in the legislature, and equal to 102 seats for the first place part.

This seems like a challenge to a POL 102 or POL 103 class! Could they better solve and/or understand the crisis than a 11-year-old? I guess it’s time to design another simulation.
From theatlantic:

This 11-Year Old Has the Worst Solution to the Euro Crisis

There are two things everybody loves: kids and pizza. The only thing better than either, of course, is when a kid makes a pizza policy metaphor. Which explains why this chart showing how to solve the Greek debt crisis by an 11-year old Dutch boy has been taken the internet by storm.
Here’s how 11-year old Jurre Herman describes his entry for the Wolfson Economics Plan (and yes, that is a pizza at the top):

Greece should leave the Euro. How do you do that? All Greek people should bring their Euro to the bank. They put it in an exchange machine (see left on my picture). You see, the Greek guy does not look happy!! The Greek man gets back Greek Drachme from the bank, their old currency. The Bank gives all these euro’s to the Greek Government (see topleft on my picture). All these euros together form a pancake or a pizza (see on top in the picture). Now the Greek government can start to pay back all their debts, everyone who has a debt gets a slice of the pizza. You see that all these euro’s in the pizza’s go the companies and banks who have given loans in greece (see right in my picture).
Now here comes the clever part of my idea:
The Greek people do not want to exchange their Euro’s for Drachmes because they know that this Drachme will lose its value dramatically. They try to keep or hide their Euro’s. They know that if they wait a while they will get more Drachmes. So if a Greek man tries to keep his Euros (or bring his euros to a bank in an other country like Holland [or] Germany) and it is discovered, he gets a penalty just as high or double as the whole amount in euros he tried to hide!!! In this way I ensure that all Greeks bring their euros to a greek bank and so the greek government can pay back all the debts. I hope my idea helps you!!!! Of course if a country has paid back all his debts , he can return to the eurozone.

Try to get past the pizza. I know: it’s spectacularly adorable to imagine Greeks piling their euros into a giant “pancake or pizza.” But wait. The Greeks will have all of their euros confiscated to fill this (metaphorical?) debt-paying pizza? That’s a cute idea. But it’s not a good idea.Greece’s troubles are twofold. It has a competitiveness problem and a debt problem. Bringing back the drachma would solve the first, but, under this plan, would exacerbate the second. The real burden of Greece’s euro debts would skyrocket overnight once its people are paid in drachmas. A far better plan would be to drachmaize all debts, or simply write them off completely. There are real costs to doing this — i.e., being shut out of international markets — so Greece should probably wait to fully default until they’re running a primary surplus.
Again, I hate to pick on an 11-year old kid. This diorama is adorable, and Jurre is probably just repeating what he’s been told. This plan makes sense to a child. The adults should know better.

The Atlantic: America’s Leading Source For Hating Pizza and Crushing Children’s Dreams Since 1857!

This seems like a challenge to a POL 102 or POL 103 class! Could they better solve and/or understand the crisis than a 11-year-old? I guess it’s time to design another simulation.

From theatlantic:

This 11-Year Old Has the Worst Solution to the Euro Crisis

There are two things everybody loves: kids and pizza. The only thing better than either, of course, is when a kid makes a pizza policy metaphor. Which explains why this chart showing how to solve the Greek debt crisis by an 11-year old Dutch boy has been taken the internet by storm.

Here’s how 11-year old Jurre Herman describes his entry for the Wolfson Economics Plan (and yes, that is a pizza at the top):

Greece should leave the Euro. How do you do that? All Greek people should bring their Euro to the bank. They put it in an exchange machine (see left on my picture). You see, the Greek guy does not look happy!! The Greek man gets back Greek Drachme from the bank, their old currency. The Bank gives all these euro’s to the Greek Government (see topleft on my picture). All these euros together form a pancake or a pizza (see on top in the picture). Now the Greek government can start to pay back all their debts, everyone who has a debt gets a slice of the pizza. You see that all these euro’s in the pizza’s go the companies and banks who have given loans in greece (see right in my picture).

Now here comes the clever part of my idea:

The Greek people do not want to exchange their Euro’s for Drachmes because they know that this Drachme will lose its value dramatically. They try to keep or hide their Euro’s. They know that if they wait a while they will get more Drachmes. So if a Greek man tries to keep his Euros (or bring his euros to a bank in an other country like Holland [or] Germany) and it is discovered, he gets a penalty just as high or double as the whole amount in euros he tried to hide!!! In this way I ensure that all Greeks bring their euros to a greek bank and so the greek government can pay back all the debts. I hope my idea helps you!!!! Of course if a country has paid back all his debts , he can return to the eurozone.

Try to get past the pizza. I know: it’s spectacularly adorable to imagine Greeks piling their euros into a giant “pancake or pizza.” But wait. The Greeks will have all of their euros confiscated to fill this (metaphorical?) debt-paying pizza? That’s a cute idea. But it’s not a good idea.

Greece’s troubles are twofold. It has a competitiveness problem and a debt problem. Bringing back the drachma would solve the first, but, under this plan, would exacerbate the second. The real burden of Greece’s euro debts would skyrocket overnight once its people are paid in drachmas. A far better plan would be to drachmaize all debts, or simply write them off completely. There are real costs to doing this — i.e., being shut out of international markets — so Greece should probably wait to fully default until they’re running a primary surplus.

Again, I hate to pick on an 11-year old kid. This diorama is adorable, and Jurre is probably just repeating what he’s been told. This plan makes sense to a child. The adults should know better.

The Atlantic: America’s Leading Source For Hating Pizza and Crushing Children’s Dreams Since 1857!

From thenewrepublic:

Can the Greek economy recover?“The economic crisis in Europe reached its latest crescendo last night, as Greece managed, through furious last-minute negotiations, to convince its creditors to give it some more breathing room. But if the Greeks have managed to stake off ruin for a few more minutes, nothing has essentially changed in their situation: Their economy is still in shambles.” -Peter Baldwin, Tracing Europe’s Long Road to Economic CatastrophePhoto courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

From thenewrepublic:

Can the Greek economy recover?

“The economic crisis in Europe reached its latest crescendo last night, as Greece managed, through furious last-minute negotiations, to convince its creditors to give it some more breathing room. But if the Greeks have managed to stake off ruin for a few more minutes, nothing has essentially changed in their situation: Their economy is still in shambles.”

-Peter Baldwin, Tracing Europe’s Long Road to Economic Catastrophe

Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

From theeconomist:

When the usual run of rulers proves cowardly, indecisive or discredited,  turning to the wisdom and expertise of a technocrat, as both Italy and  Greece have done in recent days, is particularly tempting. Government by experts can work. But brief stints have the best chances.

From theeconomist:

When the usual run of rulers proves cowardly, indecisive or discredited, turning to the wisdom and expertise of a technocrat, as both Italy and Greece have done in recent days, is particularly tempting. Government by experts can work. But brief stints have the best chances.

On Greek debt, lessons from South America - The Washington Post

From thoughtsfromtheandes:

Who would have thought that the day would come when the world would look to Latin America for examples of how to solve debt crisis and other monetary and fiscal issues.  My o my how the world has changed. 

Indeed! Or why comparative, cross-regional studies matter.