Greece is the most fiscally irresponsible country in Europe. Recently, their socialist government has been receiving bailouts from the more responsible nations of the EU, especially Germany. These bailouts have come with the requirement that austerity measures be imposes. The spoiled Greeks have now voted against austerity measures, which will certainly imperil future bailouts, and will probably lead to the collapse of Greece and its withdrawal from the European Union.
Exit polls said the conservative monolith New Democracy would finish first with a maximum of 20 per cent, while Pasok, the main socialist party, would suffer a dramatic fall to 13-14 percent, a third of what it received when winning the 2009 election. Voters held both responsible for years of mismanagement and corruption.
[…]Greeks angry at record unemployment, collapsing businesses and steep wage cuts ignored warnings that a vote against the harsh terms of the bailout would push Greece towards bankruptcy.
“The exit polls confirm what has been patently clear for some time: there’s no political consensus for the kind of reforms that Greece must implement if it wants to remain in the euro zone,” said Nicholas Spiros of Spiro Sovereign Strategy.
Othon Anastasakis, director of southeast European studies at Oxford University told Reuters: “Greeks are sending a very strong message abroad, which is enough with austerity.”
As they voted, many Greeks expressed their rage at the parties who accepted the harsh conditions of two bailouts that have kept the country from bankruptcy.
“My vote was a protest vote because they cut my pension,” said 75-year-old pensioner Kalliopi, her fists clenched in anger. “I live in a basement but pay the same (property) tax as someone who lives in a penthouse,” said Kalliopi after voting.
“I voted for Left Coalition, even if this means elections again in a month. I feel vindicated, things are changing little by little because people decided to speak up,” said 22-year-old student Klelia Avgerinopoulou.
[…]International lenders and investors fear success for the small anti-bailout parties could lead to Greece reneging on the harsh terms of the program, risking a hard sovereign default and dragging the euro zone back into the worst crisis since its creation.
Euro zone paymaster Germany has warned there would be “consequences” to an anti-bailout vote and the EU and IMF insist whoever wins the election must stick to austerity if they want to receive the aid that keeps Greece afloat.
What is most disturbing to me are the quotations from Greek citizens. Their knowledge of economic policy seems to be limited to that of spoiled children.
“The politicians who got us into this mess continue to mock us. Neither of them will do anything, all they are interested in is pulling the wool over our eyes so they can get into power again,” said Yiorgos Vrassidis, 55, after casting his vote at a “Voting for them would be like committing national suicide.”
He opted for the anti-austerity Syriza, an acronym for Coalition of the Radical Left, which shocked political observers by heading for second place. Three years ago it received just a few percent.
[…]Yianna Kiritsi, who was made redundant 18 months ago, said: “I want Greek people to decide for themselves, not the troika to decide for us. They make decisions for everybody. We are not allowed to take decisions.” Greeks routinely and derisively refer to the EU, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank which imposed the debt terms as “the troika”.
Dimitris Davos, a Communist voter, said: “We have to restore our dignity and national sovereignty. This election in Greece will send a strong message from the south of Europe to the rest that we can’t take any more pain. We need to be rid of these loan sharks and bankers.”
France also had elections, and they are taking the same anti-austerity (anti-reality) stance.
On Sunday night Mr Hollande had won 51.56 per cent of the vote compared to Mr Sarkozy’s 48.41 per cent with 90 per cent of the ballots counted.
Over 100,000 jubilant supporters gathered at Paris’s revolutionary Place de la Bastille, a pilgrimage site for the Left, chanting “François President”.
Many were too young to remember that it was here that a gigantic crowd gathered for the 1981 victory of the last Socialist president, François Mitterrand.
But even as the festivities got under way, officials close to both Mr Hollande and Mr Sarkozy were fearful of a market backlash against the Socialist’s plans to tax the wealthy and expand jobs in the state sector.
There are concerns that Mr Hollande will be unable to respect fiscal discipline targets while enacting a tax — and-spend programme that would see him create 60,000 more state education posts, partly revoke a pension reform and slap a 75 per cent tax on millionaire owners.
A senior Conservative source told The Daily Telegraph that fears France was about to reverse course would cause turmoil and uncertainty.
He said: “Clearly it’s going to focus a lot of market attention on the French public finances, which are nothing to write home about. I don’t think it is going to make life in the bond markets any easier next week.
“We haven’t chosen austerity because it’s fun. We have to do austerity, and so does France.
“He will have to be very careful about his public spending commitments and the lack of welfare reform.”
So the grown-ups have been voted out and the children are now in power. European voters want their ice cream, and they want it now, and they don’t want to have to behave to get it. How money is earned, how goods and services are produced, and how prices are set, etc. are all irrelevant to them. They have no idea why their goodies are being taken away, and they are having a tantrum.