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Letter: Whole world should hope new Greek leader succeeds

Whole world should hope new Greek leader succeeds

This past weekend, the people of Greece did what you might expect they would do – they elected a socialist government under the Syriza party, a sharp rebuke to the austerity policies agreed to by the previous government. For the young Greeks, suffering from 60 percent unemployment (the nation as a whole suffers 25 percent), I understand the appeal of newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. But shame on these youths’ parents, whose generational theft caused their pitiable situation.

The greater point, however, is we must all hope for the success of Syriza. If it fails, it is the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that will gain in Greece. Nationalism, for better or worse, has been on the rise in Europe. Terrorism, economic failure and cultural clashes have given rise to legitimate, populist parties: UKIP in the United Kingdom, Syriza in Greece and Front National in France.

The dark side, of course, is nationalism has a history of blood scattered across European battlefields from Omaha Beach to Gallipoli. Currently, under the guise of defender of all Russian people, Vladimir Putin has seized South Ossetia, Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine.

This is not our fight, nor should it ever become our fight. But we must hope people like Tsipras are successful because the alternatives are terrible. Frankly, I don’t like his policies. Germans shouldn’t work hard so Greeks can be early pensioners. But I hope the Germans can be magnanimous in this case. Let’s face it, they owe it to Europe.

Paul Lacapruccia

Buffalo