[January 29, 2015] Who has grown up not reading about the famous battle at Thermopylae where a small Greek infantry force held a narrow coastal passage against a huge Persian army? Or, who has not been taught about the humankind’s first democracy in Greece? From the most ancient of times, Greece has provided great leadership and the recent Greek elections are again showing that leadership still exists in the cradle of democracy.
Many of us may have overlooked an election in Europe of significant importance. The Greeks just elected a government that is – to use American political identity – “leftist.” Countering recent Western trends toward more right and centrist governments, Greece seems to have veered off in another direction. I will propose that the foundation of the new government is more of an appeal to the core values of Greek heritage for strength, economic growth, and independence – opposing corruption and outside influence.
The election results can be interpreted many ways and the politics will be distorted regardless of the person discussing the issue. But this time the Greeks voted heavily to oppose historical corruption and the political power of its elites who rarely pay taxes and do as they please; leaving the burden to the average worker. They also oppose the heavy hand of the European Commission and others in strangling their economy with austerity measures that failed. It is no surprise they elected a government that promised to end the past’s dysfunctional power structure and outside influence.
Leadership under such circumstances had to have a very powerful voice. Time will tell if they will be successful. Their citizens will admit that events that led Greece to this point are largely the fault of Greece. They were addicted to debt-binged spending on social programs far beyond their means to economically support such agendas. The economic and social abyss they have sunk is great.
Will the people of Greece have the fortitude to do what it takes to right their nation’s ship? The answer to this question is unknown because the pathway to recovery is unclear. Let us hope that their leaders make decisions to support their core values. The newly elected government leaders of Greece believe it is time to do what is right for Greece.
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