New is not Always Good

Leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras 
speaks to his supporters outside Athens University Headquarters,
 Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) | AP

The left-wing party Syriza won national elections in Greece last Sunday with a program promising to roll back the stringent austerity measures imposed on the country in the wake of the financial crisis.

Syriza wants to renegotiate the terms of Greece's bailout agreements with its creditors -- the troika made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Troika leaders have insisted that Greece must fulfill its commitments, raising the prospect of a confrontation that could destabilize the eurozone, 19 of the 28 members of the European Union using the euro as their currency.

n his first week in power, Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signaled that he would not relinquish his anti-austerity campaign pledges. He moved quickly to block the privatization of state assets and promised to rehire public workers, causing the Greek stock market to tumble.

"We are coming in to radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country," Tsipras vowed at his first cabinet meeting.

Economists have disagreed over the right approach to save the Greek economy and whether Syriza's economic proposals will be effective. Some have warned that austerity is a painful necessity and Greece just can't afford the financial instability caused by Syriza's policies. Others argue that austerity is actually harming the Greek economy.

Edward Hadas, the Economics Editor at Reuters Breaking Views, told The WorldPost in a Q&A that while Syriza is inexperienced, the new government could actually be good for Greece.

A lot of serious economists agree that by squeezing cash out of the economy, the austerity measures have made it very difficult to drive demand, increase wages and curb unemployment. The troika plan was badly designed. It made a bad situation worse.

Syriza's finance minister does recognize the underlying problems that led to the bailouts in the first place. The Greek economy has many structural problems, including dependence on imported capital from the rest of the eurozone.

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