The exciting news today (besides tonight’s blizzard!) is the Greek elections. Yesterday an anti-austeristy party called Syriza won the plurality of the votes, and is on the very verge of winning a majority as well.
This is huge because the leader of the party, Alexis Tsipras, has basically promised the Greek people that, if elected, he would refuse to pay off any more of Greece’s debt.
How did this happen? Well, From the perspective of the Greek people, the negotiations around their economic problems have been taken on by their last two governments since 2008 with a bunch of European technocrats behind closed doors and in an intensely undemocratic process. Well, this is when democracy fought back.
Possible ramifications: If Greece indeed defaults, and it might leave or get booted out of the Eurozone (this is called “Grexit”), which may or may not be a good thing for Greece long term, but in any case is very interesting. Short term, the black market in Greece is said to be highly developed, so the average person isn’t entirely dependent on functioning banks anyway.
Also, I’m sure Greece has been looking at Argentina recently to see how their (accidental) default has been going, namely not as bad as everyone predicted. The world will be watching Greece to see what happens and to see how smaller countries can and will deal with stifling debt in the future.