The Greeks have deactivated the switch that threatened to blow Europe sky high. Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party victory in Greece does not in and of itself solve Athens' problems, nor those plaguing the rest of Europe's capitals. The boxer is still on the ropes, but the bell has been rung, ending the round; and that gives Europe time to recover, though it will have to keep fighting. In addition this week, if seen as part and parcel to what happened in Greece, the result of France's legislative elections and the majority that President Hollande now boasts both act as a serious warning to Angela Merkel in Germany. The message is clear: we are willing to go forward, but the pernicious austerity strategy that is pushing us into the abyss must be reconsidered.
For European leaders, the central challenge is bigger, and has been mounting for years: How to stabilize a single monetary union that allows for 17 different fiscal policies
This crisis is not happening quickly. It's more of a slow-motion train wreck -- Greece's crisis started in 2009. But that leaves a puzzle -- why is the American stock market not reacting to obvious warning signs?
It's not that economies are too slow to appease markets. It's that the markets have too much power to destroy economies. Let's not forget -- this entire crisis was caused because markets mispriced risk.
Greek voters are tired of the scaremongering, tired of being portrayed as the poster-child for the ills of Europe and tired of the broken promises made by the "major" parties.
The general election of June 17 is like no other election in the history of our country, and no candidate seems to be addressing the one ingredient that could make a great difference: the sense of honor deeply engrained in every Greek.
Whichever way you look at it, Sunday's election in Greece entails major uncertainties. What is clear is that, by itself, the outcome is very unlikely to immediately end turmoil and uncertainty. Indeed, even a simplified analysis entails many permutations and combinations.
Presuming a uniformity of social circumstances and economic opportunity when they do not exist, and cannot be enforced, inevitably leads to peonage for some and riches for others.
I think this is only the tip of the iceberg. The analysis I did to evaluate the countries across the region showed the year-on-year debt of each country and the cumulative total debt.
I am presumably in the same position as most others: Neither do I fully understand what is happening, nor do I believe that those in power have a better grasp of it.
Will you imagine that European leaders, in an untimely attack of lucidity, might look at the reality of the Union through the eyes of ordinary citizens?
No matter what anyone tells you, it stands to reason that this European crisis is significant and will be around for quite a while longer. What will markets do?
Spain or Italy: which one is worse off? Economically, Spain; politically, Italy. But since a bad political situation tends to hurt the economy, and a sick economy always poisons politics, the answer could easily be reversed.
Those seem like sound ideas to me, but they might be beyond the reach of the various governments in those countries where, much to the chagrin of the European Central Bank, citizens do still have the right to vote.
What really will raise resistance in the centers of financial and despotic power around the world is this civic impulse.
If anyone is in the position to get people off their duffs and back to work, it's Germany. But Germany refuses to do so, and thus the whole continent of Europe is sitting at home instead of working -- all to watch this powerhouse play in Group B of the European Championship.