Privatization Passes in Greece

Greek Parliament Narrowly Passes Privatization Law – WSJ.com.

Greek government gets key backing to pass reforms | Reuters.

The media needs to sell newspapers, or whatever it is they offer nowadays. As such, they add a certain amount of drama to any news article. The bottom line is that the troika’s demands will be fulfilled in the coming few days, and Greece will avoid disaster for now.

These are the important facts. Samaras’ conservative party and PASOK, the socialists, control 160 votes in a 300 seat parliament. PASOK has indicated that it supports the austerity package with its 33 deputies. Eleven deputies would need to defect for the bill to be voted down.

This is very unlikely. PASOK is part of the status quo in Greece and plays Democrats to the New Democracy’s Republicans. Their constituents are the government workers still getting paychecks, and they need to keep the money flowing.

There is very little for them to gain by defecting from the coalition. When the Socialists took power, they admitted to the budget shenanigans perpetrated by New Democracy, and this precipitated the eurocrisis. The Greek voters shot the messenger.

At the very least, Greece needs to elect a new government. The current administration is intent on bowing to the troika, and as such has no leverage in negotiations. Syriza is crazy enough to extract concessions.

As it stands now, the plan in place is just leading to a deeper depression. Europe is paying just enough to maintain the status quo in Greece to avert a market panic, while the Greek people suffer. This will come to a head soon. Let’s hope that the denouement is peaceful.

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