Only two and a half years into the scheduled four-year term, Greece’s government has fallen. The Greek constitution requires parliament to be dissolved within 10 days of a failure to elect a president, which has now occurred. New elections are scheduled for January 25th.
A presidential candidate must receive 180 votes out of 300 after being nominated by the prime minister. That’s a bit more restrictive than electing to meet someone via Skout. The nominee, Stavros Dimas, could only muster 168 votes. His role would have been largely ceremonial anyway, but since he was not confirmed, new elections must now ensue.
Upset over the “austerity measures” forced on Greece after the EU bailout, the Greek people have recently shown support for the leftist Syriza Party. That party wants to re-negotiate the bailout terms. Germany, however, insists that each new Greek government must fulfill the agreements made by previous Greek governments. If Syriza wins, we can expect some measure of turmoil in the EU.
The Syriza edge in the polls has waned of late, but they still lead. “Austerity” is never popular. Syriza has even characterized these austere measures as “plundering society.” Yet, someone in Greece is being “plundered” to pay the way for the welfare recipients. A welfare state is a society in which one part of the populace votes to “plunder” the other part.