After the Spanish government managed to negotiate a bailout without the harsh measures imposed on other bailed out nations, Greece, Ireland and Portugal are asking the question, ‘why should we suffer and Spain get away with it?’
The upcoming Greek elections on the 17th of June have taken a new twist after each of the competing parties watched Spain successfully negotiate favourable terms. Now these parties will have the belief that they too can secure a fairer deal for their economically devastated country, setting whoever wins on a collision course with the European Union.
The left wing SYRIZA party has based its entire campaign on scrapping the bailout deal, now they will feel their position is justified.
SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis said “Developments in Spain fully vindicate us in our reading of the crisis: this is a deep structural crisis of the Eurozone itself, the discussions in Europe open new perspectives for Greece and the euro zone.”
The conservative New Democracy party also believes a fairer deal can be achieved.
“Just think, at a time when a country like Spain negotiates, some argue that we have to clash with Europe,” said Antonis Samaras the conservative party leader.
On the streets of Athens the general public have mixed views on the Spanish deal. Some are angry that Spain was given special treatment whilst others are totally disillusioned with the whole situation.
“Since more countries are in the game, it’s good for us because we will have the grounds to negotiate over better terms,” said Eleni Karakoussi, 31, a saleswoman, who said she intended to vote for SYRIZA.”I’m not afraid we will be forced to leave the euro zone. I’m tired of being afraid. I only hope that we will have jobs, a way to make ends meet after June 17.”
Others are doubtful that Greece will even be listened too.
Gikas Hardouvelis, chief economist to Lucas Papademos, the technocrat prime minister who headed a six month cross-party government until May, told a local radio station that “they [the EU] are totally bored of us … the most important message that we must send out is that we want to stay in the Eurozone because if we leave the Eurozone it is very likely that we will leave the European Union, too.”
The Irish and Portuguese governments have both expressed a desire to go back to the negotiating table over their own bailout deals. For an organisation like the EU to claim fairness and equality for all, they have a funny way of showing it.
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