Daily Archives: June 14, 2012

Esther Bintliff

A family beg on the street on June 13 in Athens. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A family beg on a street on in Athens, June 13, 2012. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

On Sunday, Greeks will go to the polls for the second time in two months. The inconclusive election of May 6, in which no single party gained more than 20 per cent of the vote, reflected the views of an electorate deeply disillusioned with the two political parties that had taken turns to govern Greece since the end of military dictatorship in 1974 – New Democracy on the centre-right, and Pasok on the centre-left.

The far-left Syriza coalition, led by a young firebrand called Alexis Tsipras, surged into second-place, striking fear into the heart of Brussels with a promise to challenge the consensus that Greece had to stick to stringent austerity in order to please its European paymasters.

Billed as the election that could decide Greece’s fate in the eurozone, voters face an almost impossible choice this weekend – between the parties of an old, inept political order, and something new but untested. Here is some of the best news, analysis and comment on the subject from the FT and elsewhere: Read more

Another tumultuous week for the eurozone

Spain reluctantly accepted a bailout for its struggling banks last weekend but it has not restored market confidence – the government’s borrowing costs have soared to their highest level since the birth of the euro. Meanwhile Greece is holding a general election this weekend. No party is likely to win an overall majority, the country’s exit from the eurozone is a distinct possibility and as much as €500 million is leaving its banks each day. Gideon Rachman is joined by Victor Mallet in Madrid, Kerin Hope in Athens and Chris Giles in the studio to discuss the crisis. Read more

Roula Khalaf

Bullet marks on the wall of a reception room, Taftanaz, Syria, April 2012, following nine extrajudicial executions there © Amnesty International

Bullet marks in a room in Taftanaz, where Amnesty says nine extrajudicial executions took place. Image: Amnesty International

Syrian activists have been reporting the regime’s human rights abuses for the past 15 months. But independent examination of the brutality in Syria has been limited because of the lack of access available for international organisations, and the inability to check the accuracy of the activists’ reports.

Amnesty International has just published a report based on a month-long trip of a researcher through the northern governorates of Idlib and Aleppo. Its findings are that Syrian security forces have been rampaging through towns and villages, summarily executing men, burning homes and at times even the bodies of those killed in cold blood. Many of the abuses, says the report, amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Read more

Gideon Rachman

Angela Merkel’s speech to parliament in Berlin today marks a distinct shift in tone, argues Gideon Rachman. Read more

Tony answers a selection of questions about Greece’s upcoming rerun election that were submitted by our readers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  Read more