Greece financial crisis: Fears general election could spark further turmoil
GREECE’s economy is growing, but as the country comes to the end of its bailout program the looming threat of an election could spark further turmoil.
The economy is growing in the Mediterranean nation, and the bailout program is due to end in August 2018, but many Greeks do not feel their situation has improved and are sick of the current political system.
Currently the conservative New Democracy party is polling 12 points ahead of Syriza, who have led Greece since 2015.
New Democracy hope for an election next year, even though Syriza have a mandate to govern until 2019.
The country is divided as to who will lead after the next election, but many are fed up with the current system despite the economic improvements.
Speaking to CNBC, Eva Pavlopoulo, a 29-year-old student said young people in Greece “don’t dream” as their opportunities are very limited.
Last year, 47 per cent of people 25 and under were out of work – double the eurozone average.
Many young Greeks have left the country in search of work, leading to a brain drain in the nation.
Maria Hatzi, 24, told CNBC: “I’m considering it very seriously at this point, because you are constantly trying to improve your lifestyle by studying, and you are expecting to implement the things you learned.”
She added: “Nothing much has changed since 2010. All the financial help from Europe and the IMF wasn’t that substantial to the average person.”
The current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will lose the election, according to Ms Hatzi who thinks “Greeks become resentful to the people that promised things and didn’t manage to deliver”.
Many are disappointed in the austerity measures he implemented and say he has failed on many of his promises.
Tourism, however, is going from strength to strength. In the first nine months of 2017, it brought it 13 billion euros compared to 11.7 billion eros from the same period in 2016.
Former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has said he will run in Greece’s next general election.
Speaking to Antenna TV earlier this month he said his party, Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, will host a conference in February to prepare for their launch.
He also hit out at the PM, saying: “Tsipras is not doing politics at the moment. He is simply executing directives coming through mail from Brussels.”
Contentious austerity measures in Greece have sparked violent riots over the last number of years. Rioters have hurled petrol bombs at police, and officer responded with tear gas in a series of protests over the years.
In May this year thousands took to the streets to protest agains cuts. Police said 12,000 people took part in separate protests in Athens and another 6,000 in Thessaloniki.
Under Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, eurozone powerhouse Germany has been pushing Greece for the past seven years to make recurring cuts in return for bailout cash.
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