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Greece: graaah crap reporting

"Voters give Europe and euro a chance"

Not mentions is that pro-austerity parties New Democracy and Pasok got, between them, not quite 43% of the vote. ND gets to form a government with Pasok only because of a constitutional provision that grants an extra 50 seats to the plurality winner -- a provision put in by New Democracy, I'm told. In fact voters rejected parties backing the austerity/bailout/memorandum by a large majority. If the legislature properly reflected the election results, it would be leftist Syriza trying to form a government with all the other anti-austerity parties -- an interesting challenge, granted, with the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn having about 7% of the vote, thus the difference between a bare majority and the full 57%.

Granted, giving majorities to minorities is a pretty common result; just happened in France, and in Scotland earlier, and in Canada. But it's rarely such an explicit design feature; in fact in Scotland people were saying "the system was designed to make single-party majorities unlikely!" though from my POV these people can't do math.

In other news, an article on the French election includes

One of the biggest upsets for the Socialists came in La Rochelle, where the Socialist former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal was beaten by a dissident candidate expelled from the Socialist party for standing against her. Royal's battle was at the centre of a presidential private-life saga this week when Hollande's partner, the journalist Valérie Trierweiler, tweeted her support of the dissident. Hollande had backed Royal, who was his partner for 30 years and is mother of his four children.

Just seems so weird to an American... though I'm not sure if 'partner' here means a purely private couple, or one registered as what we'd call a civil union, since those seem to have displaced 'marriage' in France even for heterosexuals.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/325314.html#comments


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Before you feel too proud of your intellect, you might consider a few facts,
One, no party, certainly not the left opposition you cast for the role, actually opposed the bailout. The left party only proposed to renegotiate it. Anyone who is not a complete fool must understand that, given the relative power of Greece and Germany (plus Germany's little helpers – Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands), this would only mean that a left government would have struck a few dramatic poises, made a few belligerant noises, and then come down and accepted everything. Second, while voters who voted for Pasok and New Republic (I am sick to death of seeing people with no Greek mistranslating Nea Demokratia as “New Democracy”) knew that they were voting for a coalition already made and agreements already reached, voters who voted against them knew no such thing. You mention the Golden Dawn filth, but rather disingenuously leave out the Communists. The majority you like to project simply does not exist, and any negotiations intended to create one would have lasted dangerous weeks and produced an even more dangerous amount of hot air and loud demands.
Third, the Greek citizens knew the score better than you do, including the majority prize. Which is why some of them felt free to make a protest vote,when, if an absolute majority had been called for, they might either have voted for the coalition or stayed home.

Let us make one thing clear. When it comes to choosing whether to stay in “Europe” or not, no Greek will choose not to. That is the purposes of the Greek state, of its very existence. From Greece (as from Italy) you can see Asia and Africa, and the Greeks (like us Italians) don't like what they see. “Falling down into Africa”, “being reduced to a Third World country”, is the great national nightmare, and rather than see any risk of that, the Greeks will willingly starve and freeze. It's as simple as that, and until English-speaking journalists fail to understand it, they will never understand a thing about Europe in general and Greece in particular.

Now a personal thing. There is something nasty about your settings, that mean that I can't put in anything unless I first type it out separately in a text file in my own computer, and then copy and paste it. If I try to type in your LJ answer space, I am allowed exactly one character. That can't be rigt
Jun. 18th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Being in the euro is not the same as being in Europe. Nor is "being reduced to a Third World country" a particularly rational nightmare, even if it is the nightmare.

It's true that knowledge of the system can free up protest votes, though with only a few percent difference between Syriza and ND it was cut remarkably close.

Sorry to hear about the entry problem. I have no idea what's causing it; not like I've singled you out for anything, nor has anyone else mentioned it. Does it still hold if you view my entries in your own style?
Jun. 18th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Speaking as an Italian, until you know what we are fighting against, I suggest you don't tell us what is rational or not for us. Your notion of rationality assumes that everyone has the same problems and issues as someone from San Francisco – sorry, but some of us have different priorities. And the Europe we are talking of may not be perfect, but it's the only one we've got, and we will fight for it. America gets its news about Europe from England, and England is completely incapable of getting its head around the notion that for us all – and I don't mean only the Mediterranean fringe, but also France, Germany, Poland, Hungary and so on – Europe is a value in itself, a statement of common culture and civilization that moves us away from the mean and restricting bounds of nationalism. The English insist on understanding Europe in terms of Napoleon, Hitler and the Soviet Union, which shows a terrible incapacity of seeing any different between the conquest of a country by another and the union of several nationalities in the name of a common culture and principles. Given England's history with Scotland, Wales and Ireland (and, less successfully, with France), this kind of mental blindness is not too surprising for them; Americans, however, ought to know better.

As for the issue with the answer space, I do think it has to do with your format, although I have no idea how to try it in a different format. I have never had the problem with anyone else. And what bothers me a bit is that I found my way around it, but maybe someone else has not – and you might never hear about it

Jun. 18th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
About Mr.Hollande and Segolene Royale, what you may like to know is that they had four children together and were a couple for more than two decades. The odious Trierwillier, who is building a reputation in Paris as the queen bitch from Hell, actually met Hollande while interviewing him over the birth of his fourth child. What bewilders me is that Sarkozy's men did not lay a little emphasis on the appalling behaviour of Hollande and his obviously flakey choice of this woman over the mother of his children. I think it would have been a deal-breaker.

Jun. 18th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
"Hollande had backed Royal, who was his partner for 30 years and is mother of his four children." Right there in the post. :)

I'm given to understand that the 'emphasis' you advocate would not have worked well in French culture.
Jun. 18th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
I am given to understand, by a a friend who is a French lady of the republican upper class as well as a top reporter from Paris, that the opposite is increasingly the case, and that the Strauss-Kahn case has unleashed a wave of female resentment at the macho ways of Frenchmen. And I will take her word above yours. After all, if it were not, then Strauss-Kahn, having been cleared, would have found it easy to take back his position as Socialist heir apparent to the throne

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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