With practice, the Greeks are becoming more efficient, with their elections anyway. The May 6th elections cost €50m and the new one is scheduled to cost only €35. The savings comes as the interior minister will now accept voting results by fax, rather than the more expensive telegrams. This may be the only good news coming from Greece.
Will this election accomplish more than the last one which was unable to form a governing coalition? The Pasok leader, Evangelos Venizelos, revealed he had sent a letter to leaders of four major parties, proposing a coalition government. It remains to be seen if, collectively, there will be enough votes in favor of remaining in the Euro.
Pressure is mounting for the Greeks to comply with the austerity measures as prescribed by the troika. Currently the healthcare suppliers in Greece have not been paid, and medical supplies, as a consequence, are in short supply. Money to pay the government workers, the pensioners and their age 55 retirement benefits is drying up. There are warnings that the Greeks will have insufficient money to make these government payrolls within a month.
Despite these warnings the rhetoric in Greece is heating up. The Athens News reported:
"Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) leader Alexis Tsipras strongly criticised German chancellor Angela Merkel on her statement on Friday, that Greece must fulfill all its commitments as a condition for remaining in the eurozone, and called on Merkel to clearly state "what article of the European Treaties sets out the Memorandums of austerity as a condition for membership in the eurozone".
There is no easy answer for the Greeks, as either choice will involve hardship. Comply with Merkel's demands is like giving up your sovereignty, but leaving the eurozone is not an easy choice. We do know there has been a flight of funds from Greece, anticipating a defection from the single currency.
Where is the money headed? I have recently seen some recommendations to move money to German bunds, gold, the USD, the pound and the Swiss franc. The SF is an interesting choice, but if the euro is really headed for the tank, how many euros will the Swiss National Bank need to buy before they begin to question their policies. Last week's report showed the SNB had been busy buying intervening buying the euro and selling the SF. The total currency reserves went up about 28% during the previous month.
Most of the capital flight from Greece has already taken place. The real issue is, are the Greek voters going to vote with their feet and leave the euro. More important will the Greeks start a trend, with a parade of countries then leaving the euro?