First, it demolished the "socialist" Pasok beyond recognition, and, second, it delivered a punishing blow to the supposed "conservatives" of the New Democracy party (ND) and left them dazed and riding dead in water.The final tally for both parties was unprecedented: Pasok managed a paltry 13.18% down from its nearly 44% of 2009; and ND emerged "first" with an equally unprecedented 18.85% down from its 33.47% of 2009. Even if the former Big Two wished to form a coalition, their combined performance at the polls precludes them from forming a majority government.

That leaves us with a spate of smaller parties ranging from the Stalinist Greek communists (KKE) to the newcomer ultra-nationalists of Golden Dawn -- whose leader has already spoken against the "traitors" who have brought Greece to her knees in the last two years. Their combined strength reached 48.94% of the vote. If there were a way of bringing all of them together, they would easily dominate parliament and thus relegate the former Big Two to the role of a discredited and breathless opposition. All these parties are bitter opponents of the vicious austerity imposed on Greece by her European "friends and allies" and the universally despised IMF. All of them promised to fight on against the "bailout" spearheaded by Germany's stern opposition to deficits, even at the price of a growing and persistent recession among  a growing number of the EU's member states. In Greece, the recession has turned into a depression and unemployment has reached the levels of the 1929 Great Depression in the United States.

Already, the Greek May 6 results are sending shivers through the capitals of the EU's central powers. Both Frau Merkel and her stiff finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble are warning that Greece "will suffer consequences" if her new government refuses to abide by the crippling terms of the "bailout." Threats or no threats though, the message of the May 6 election was loud and clear: "We had enough, we say 'no' to permanent poverty." In the immediate aftermath of the Greek election, and the one in France that booted out Merkel's close ally Nicholas Sarkozy, German hardcore pro-"savings" politicians made no perceptible attempt to speak of a compromise that could place real growth ahead of cuts, higher taxes, and promises of certain economic doom.

For all of Germany's might, arrogance and misplaced sense of confidence, Berlin will be ill advised to ignore the turning of the tide as anti-austerity forces throughout Europe gather momentum. While Greece is still a speck on the economic map, as the majority of foreign analysts continue to remind us, no one should rest easy thinking that specks are unable to cause major upheavals.

As for the immediate future, Greece is almost certainly on the path of more uncertainty and political turmoil. One thing is for sure, however: the politicians who collaborated in bringing down the country and nullifying her sovereignty during the past two years have been relegated to the rubbish pile with few exceptions, - much the same as the various "realists" who see creating a nation of paupers and sweatshop laborers as the only avenue to "economic health."

First half: Greece 1, Austerity 0.

Tassos Symeonides can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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