Greece is to hold an early general election next May 6th. The (unelected) Prime minister Lucas Papademos stated that he would formally request the election from President Karolos Papoulias. "The main goals of our government were achieved," Mr Papademos told a Cabinet meeting.
Mr Papademos, a 64-year-old former vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), appointed prime minister in November and has pushed through harsh austerity measures in order to secure what the Irish Examiner stated was “a vital international bailout and a major debt relief deal with banks.”
Irish Examiner: “Opposition conservatives reached the coalition agreement with the majority Socialist Pasok party in November 2011 after parliamentary opposition (note: the Irish Examiner ignores the massive popular opposition to these measures), to austerity measures brought the previous government of Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou to the brink of collapse.”
The Examiner finishes by stating that “The conservative New Democracy party, led by former Foreign Minister Antonis Samaras, is leading in the opinion polls for the next election. However, the polls suggest it will not receive enough votes to form a government and would have to seek another coalition with the Socialists, as smaller parties fiercely oppose the terms of bailout agreements.”
Greece, in other words, faces the potential nightmare scenario of a fractured and divided Government, unable to push through the austerity programme.
In Ireland, the General Election of February 2011 occurred after the media abandoned support for the FF/Green coalition in late November 2010 once the IMF/EU programme was formally agreed. The Government, in other words, had done its job, and could now be dumped since it had exhausted all political credibility.
What had to be avoided was a long drawn-out campaign which would lead to a fractured parliament, with a weak and divided coalition Government, dependent on backbenchers and unable to implement the EU/IMF programme. A snap February election with the usual 3-week media-led campaign ensured that this threat was successfully avoided. The plan has, so far, been implemented in full, (aside from the Household Tax), and with full media support and approval, with some disagreement about tactics.
In Greece, the politicians face an electorate that is, to some degree, politically aware and who reject established authority.
In Ireland, the electorate are politically unaware and subordinate to authority. The effective difference is that Greeks see themselves as occupying a public space, or arena, in which each individual faces a reality that is shared by others. In Ireland, each individual faces a social reality that is defined by the media. That is the effect of a media saturated society with minimal public institutions and no awareness or experience of, a public identity.
Which is a classic neo-liberalism, Ireland, Europe’s Puerto Rico.
Greece calls May general election, Wednesday, April 11, 2012 -