Greece has never fully recovered from the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/2008 making the elections that were held on January 25th, 2015 imperative to the nations history. The elections were hotly contested with the incumbent Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras losing out to Alexis Tsipras of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA). The people decided to vote overwhelmingly against the ruling party as they wanted to see a change in a country that had for long been reeling in hard economic times. It was evident that the people needed a change of guard to see if there were changes that could be instituted by a new government. The government under Samaras had drowned the country in debts, and the level of control and rationing that was being suggested to keep the country in line was too high a price for Greece. The EU, IMF and the World Bank had asked the government to institute severe cuts in exchange for the large financial assistance that was offered to the country. The SYRIZA had promised the people change that would ensure transformation in the economic tide in the countrys favor and institute better models to make sure that Greece was perfectly positioned to solidify their economy. This paper assesses the January 2015 elections and its outcomes while also assessing the background and events leading up to the outcomes of the elections.
Greece was the hardest hit country by the Euro-Crisis that had rocked Europe and the United States. Greece suffered three distinct economic recessions from 2007 to 2013 that had the country on its knees economically. The country faced problems in its economic models with the country having to ask for loans from the EU, IMF and World Bank in 2010 for bailout funding (Koronaiou and Sakellariou, 2013). The bailout funding, however, had conditional terms that were aimed at austerity and privatization that were part of the models that were used in the country. Austerity, therefore, defined the government through the models that it established. The country would, however, have to get more funds to help in the bailout process with the incumbent government taking action to ensure that it has established a working model for the future. The current government that is in power was formed after the elections were held in June 2012 by New Democracy, Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), and Democratic Left (DIAR). The government was formed and was under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. However, PASOK and DIAR walked out on the government and did not have their members elected for the cabinet (Kosmidou et al, 2015). Although the DIAR had announced its exit from the government, it was open to offering support to SYRIZA. The incumbent government under the control of Samaras was forced to deliver on its promises with the New Democracy and independents and was alienated by the two strong parties that were critical in forming the coalition. The changes in the dates of election for the legislative as well as the presidential elections were also highly contentious, and the government failed to deliver on these promises to the people.
Factors leading to the fall of the incumbent government
One of the main factors that contributed massively to the fall of the government was a split in the decision for a third bailout. After the EU, IMF and World Bank had offered the country bailout money it found that the country still needed more bailout money if it was to achieve a level of control and revamp its economy (Flassbeck et al, 2015). There were massive differences in the figures released by the EU and other international bodies and the figures that were indicated by the Greek government. The differences raised uncertainty in the county, but the government went ahead to read the budget. The government, however, maintained that the country still needed the bailout money that it received from the international bodies although there were signs of the country controlling its models through the issuance of low-interest bonds (Kosmidou et al, 2015). This made it critical for the government to restructure its programs and meet its loan obligations in the bailout programs. However, there were people who believed that the country did not need the bailout programs, and therefore, there was no need to commit to the models and approaches that had since been established. The people were split on the pro-bailout and anti-bailout policies that were needed in the country. There was a change in the formulations and models that were instituted by the government making it critical to establish a working model and approach that was critical to Greece. There was a difference of opinion between the different parts of the country, and the people were pushing for the best models that they believe were feasible for the country. The incumbent government was adamant that the only way that the nation could be bailed out was through taking the bailout money. However, the people had paid a steep price for taking the funds and the government had not yet offered a good process to ensure that the people were given a chance to connect and deliver better economic models in the country.
The presidential elections were also one of the factors that detrimentally affected the incumbent government. The government did not offer a proper structure that followed the previous models in the country. Greece had the presidential elections moved forward a few months and included different rounds of voting. The government had nominated different flag bearers who were to be presidential candidates for the party (Flassbeck et al, 2015). The government did have more than one election in a bid to get another president although the elections did not get the desired results since even after three rounds of elections the president was not elected. There was a split on the level of control and models that were used by the Prime Minister in a bid to ensure that they controlled and implemented the best models and attributes. The premature presidential elections also negatively affected the economy through different economic shocks in a country that was reeling in economic turmoil (International, B. P, 2015). The premature elections were a threat to the newly found stability that the country was enjoying since it established a model that was prevalently controlled and established through different shocks in the society. There was a threat to the level of economic awareness and modeling that had recently been instituted in the country. The international bodies that were bailing out the country also delayed the release of funds that critically affected an economy that was mainly construed around the funding from the international agencies. The country suffered massive shocks and was critically influenced by the elections that cost the country a lot of money and the uncertainty that accompanied the elections was alarming.
Voting out of Anger and against Austerity
The Greeks had in the past been ruled by two parties that were famous in the country that is PASOK and New Democracy parties (Flassbeck et al, 2015). In a country that had been crippled by the economic trends and models instituted by the government and financial institutions, the people voted in large numbers against the incumbent government and parties that were popular in the past. SYRIZA is also a party that believes in the models and approaches that are aimed at changing the connection with the EU but does not believe in the austerity structures instituted by the incumbent government. SYRIZA was adamant that although it would cooperate and democratically decide on the country issues with the Eurozone, they were done taking orders and the models of austerity that had hampered their development.
The people on the eve of election clearly highlighted their anger against the austerity policies that had been implemented within the country (Flassbeck et al, 2015). The new government under the control of SYRIZA-led by Tsipras was led by taking orders from other countries or international agencies and was looking to engage and cooperate with other countries auspiciously. The government was rather focused on striking a new deal with the EU that would see an increase in the level of public investments in the country. This would increase the amount of money that was available in the nation and pave the way for countries to make important investments in future. There is a massive difference between the models that have been instituted in the present models and future aspects that have been critical in developing a working structure among member countries. The party promised the people to control the level of austerity that had led to the country being controlled by other countries or international agencies.
The Greeks believed that if the country had been given a chance to control and revamp the economy without the massive models and controls that were instituted by the entities that bailed them out there was a chance to create a better working model for the future. Austerity had milked the country dry and the level of unemployment and suffering Greeks was soaring. Although Tsipras had not been involved in politics for long, the people were tired of the incumbent regime and were looking for the best way out as a country. The party was also not popular, but it managed to scoop almost a majority in the parliament with only three seats being the difference since the people were advent on changing the scope and models that were being instituted. Economically the models that were suggested by SYRIZA did not guarantee results for the country, but they were the closes that the country came to a change in the models and formulations that had been instituted in the country for years. Greece was looking for the best alternative and since the bailout had not working for years the people were convinced that it was not be best model for the country in future. SYRIZA managed to give the people a way out that would help in controlling and integrating better models and structures for the future. How the country would do in future remains to be seen, but they managed to push the favorite parties that have historically ruled the country politics for years.
The Outcome of the Elections Statistically
In Greece, it is compulsory to vote in the elections although there was no action taken against those who failed to vote since the country recorded a 63.87% turn out (ECONOMIST, 2015). SYRIZA managed to have 36.34 of the total votes cast in the elections. The party also amassed 149 seats three less than the majority number of seats in the parliament. To think that the party had not stamped its authority and did not have the same level of control as the other parties in the country in the past is unfathomable. New Democracy (ND) came second with 27.82% of the votes and had 76 seats in parliament (Petmesidou et al, 2015). This was the incumbent party in control of the government and did not manage to gain the number of votes necessary to trounce the new government. Golden Dawn and To Potami parties were 3rd and fourth respectively and had 6% of the votes won and 17 seats each in parliament (ECONOMIST, 2015). PASOK party only gained 4% of the votes and had a mere 13 seats in parliament (Lea, 2015). SYRIZA had won the elections convincingly and had a good platform to control and push for their policies since they had the numbers in parliament. The president was perfectly positioned and supported by his members, therefore, was in a great position to make any needed changes in the models adopted within the country.
The Euro-Crisis critically affected Greece, and although the incumbent government had tried to institute changes, the public felt that they had not done enough. The government failed in its bid to control the effects of the c...
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