After sorrow joy would come again...
This verse by French poet Guillaume Apollinaire "On the Mirabeau Bridge" has transported some observers. The Greek vote was firstly driven by its across-the-board rejection of a political class that has brought the country to its knees. Because until 2011 Greece's successive governments led to the impoverishment of a failing State, massive debt and bankruptcy. As always in this type of circumstance the poorest have paid the highest price.
The election of a young newcomer to the national political arena is therefore a source of great hope, maybe the last chance to re-establish a State that works, which imposes taxes and distributes them fairly. But SYRIZA's programme will not be implemented as announced.
Massive State spending, the distribution of revenues and social credit will only be possible via borrowing, in spite of the recovery of new growth made possible by the European Union. We hope that the months to come will not be those of irresponsibility, but of frank discussion with
the Europeans who saved Greece from disaster. Without them the country would have sunk into misery under the much harder tutelage of the international community.
The victory of the radical left in Greece is also symbolic of the European state of mind. After years of laxist attitudes, of the distribution of perks and revenues mainly financed by debt, redressing government accounts requires extremely severe measures that are difficult to assume when applied to the full.
Europeans are accustomed to comfort and to the acquis for which they do not have the means. Will they be able to accept the necessary effort required to protect what is vital, in other words to make sacrifices? And the extremists of all types who are gathering strangely at Greece's side are doing their worst as they surf on the discontent of people. If we let them do what they want the result will be chaos and bankruptcy.
The safety net comprising the European treaties and cooperation, the very one that saved Greece will work again. To implement its programme the new Greek government will need to revise it with the agreement of its partners. Debts always have to be paid and we cannot imagine that in addition to the 110 billion euros of Greek debt that has already been cancelled another burden will be added for taxpayers to bear in other European Union countries.
However, as it is each time a Member State is in difficulty and that the people makes its voice heard, Europeans will accept discussion and expect real proposals.
Let's hope they are sensible and productive. And we should not forget the end of Apollinaire's poem - "The days go by and here I stay ..." Just as debts do.