Pro-bailout New Democracy party wins in Greece
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Jeremy Hobson: And it looks like Greece will be staying in the eurozone… at least for the moment. The pro-bailout, pro-austerity New Democracy party narrowly beat the anti-bailout Syriza party in yesterday’s elections and is now trying to form a coalition government.
Last week, we spoke with economist Dimitris Doulos at the American College of Greece. And he’s back with us this morning from just outside Athens. Good morning.
Dimitris Doulous: Good morning.
Hobson: Well, last time we talked, I asked you if you were scared about this upcoming election; you said: yes, you were. What did you do when you found out the results yesterday?
Doulous: I felt kind of relieved. But it was very close, very tight; I mean, 2.5 percentage points difference, so that’s a very close difference. But today I think I feel a little better.
Hobson: So what happens now? I mean, it’s not like the crisis is over.
Doulous: Well, there must be a government as soon as possible, because I think this is our last chance. The new coalition government we hope will be formed within a few hours or a few days. We hope that it will go ahead quickly with structural changes, so that we give to our partners in Europe to understand that we are serious and that we are willing to go ahead with it.
Hobson: Let me ask you one more thing — you’re a professor, you talk to students all the time. How can the government, going forward there, convince young, educated Greeks to stay in the country instead of fleeing to other places where there’s more opportunity right now?
Doulous: Well, for the time being, it’s a difficult time to do it, because unemployment among young, educated people is very, very high. So it’s very difficult to persuade recent graduates to stay here. But I think if we have some growth measures, that we’ll quickly create jobs, and we’ll push Greece out of the recession, this mood will change gradually.
Hobson: Dimitris Doulos is an economist at the American College of Greece. Thank you so much for talking with us again.
Doulous: Thank you very much.
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