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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 November 2014
SATURDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2014 13 but not elections As the momentum for Greece’s stabilisation builds, a pending election could harm this. And while Greeks look for change, they are concerned this could jeopardise Greece’s chance of a comeback I don’t have a car, an iPhone and I don’t go on holidays - enough with this myth that we are all living a fancy life and are too lazy to work - Nikos Arvanitis, bartender The young have felt the worst of the economic crisis, with an unemployment rate for their group pushing close to 50 per cent. PHOTO: EPA/PANTELIS SAITAS. their real views on key issues such as the EU, the role of banks in the development of our country, Greece's shipping industry and some big projects that would significantly boost the construction industry like the old Athens airport and the building of AEK's new stadium," explains Antonis. Despite their lack of a defined, sustainable plan for the future, Antonis says SYRIZA has increased its chances of winning an election should it take place next year but claims it's difficult to predict the impact a SYRIZA victory would have. "I strongly believe their power is quite limited due to the external financial forces applied, which are practically the decision makers for Greece. "From a political point of view though, it will be interesting to see which party they will form a coalition government with, as it is impossible for any party to form a majority government." For Antonis, who works seven days a week and takes almost no time off all year, the possibility of another election in Greece in the first months of 2015 will further increase the instability, the uncertainty and the overall feeling of ‘what's next?’ that Greek society has been captured in since 2009. "I believe that the tolerance level of the Greek society has been significantly reduced since 2012," Antonis says, attributing it to unemployment figures which have skyrocketed, while those still fortunate enough to be working have had their wages dramatically cut. "There still remains this overall sense of insecurity in regards to Greece leaving the EU and what that would mean for the country," Antonis concludes. A few days later I meet with a fellow Greek Australian living in Athens. Born in Sydney, Eleni Argyrou, a 35-year-old marketing communications manager, has been living in Greece for almost eight years. She tells me she is quite alarmed by the possibility of another election midway through the current four-year term. "Why?" she begins, "I have no faith in our leaders. I feel that any change will lead to unrest and unnecessary policy change simply for the sake of justifying a new party's position in leadership," Eleni explains. "Greece has stabilised as compared to previous years and elections will be detrimental to that. They will simply cause disruption," adds Eleni, who arrived in Greece shortly before the crisis started and, despite the hardships, has persevered. "Emotionally, that sense of insecurity is still in the air, albeit at a lesser extent," she explains. Eleni admits elections in 2015 could have dire consequences for the company she works for, and her job. "If political powers change, given the detrimental effect it will have on the country's stability, it will affect the company's European expansion strategies. Further unrest in Greece means that Greece, and Greeks by extension, are viewed as risky business. So if the company has problems as a result, so does its staff, including me." Despite that, Eleni believes if Greece is to go to the polls in 2015, New Democracy would once again come out on top and things will continue with the stability of the last two years.
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