A sigh, but not one entirely of relief.
The much-anticipated return to the polls happened in Greece this past weekend, and the global game of economic chicken is over for the moment.
The result of the nation’s second election in a little over a month was a very narrow victory for one of Greece’s traditional political parties, the conservative and pro-bailout/EURO/austerity New Democracy (ND) party. Assuming ND can successfully form a government, this would seem to indicate that Greece will, for now, stay within the boundaries of a heavy-handed, German-dictated austerity agreement and stay within the Eurozone.
Yesterday’s election gives hope to many, including those working in the world’s financial markets, and rips it cleanly and painfully away from others, like ordinary working Greeks, who can now fully expect to pay for their misplaced faith in international establishments, corporate elites and even their own elected leaders.
One important lesson I hope my beloved Greek brothers and sisters have learned through this recent experience: political leaders, whether democratically elected or not, cannot be trusted to fulfill their campaign promises. I recognize that I am a virtually complete cynic when it comes to this, but my own considerable experience amply supports this conclusion.
The Greek people, that is to say, the real, hard-working, family-oriented, open-hearted Greek people, who were sold blue-sky and puffy-cloud, joy-everlasting, land-of-milk-and-honey fictions about their participation in the Eurozone have been handed the bill for a banquet they were never invited to attend and, for which, their succeeding generations will be left to slave.
So, for now, the world has escaped the feared tipping over of the first Eurozone domino. I’d say it’s scant cause for celebration.