According to the New York Times, if you’re looking for an optimistic story in Europe, try Greece.
Opinion columnist for the publication, Roger Cohen says, “Having lost a quarter of its economy in a devastating recession, Greece has turned the corner, its democracy intact, its extremist temptations defeated and its anti-Americanism defunct.”
He goes on to add that the landslide election on Sunday of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, marked the end of a chapter. “Greece rejected Alexis Tsipras, the leftist leader who took the country to the brink of ruin in 2015 before discovering a pragmatic streak. It also voted the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn out of Parliament. At the height of the crisis, Golden Dawn had become the country’s third-largest party.”
“First into populism, Greece is now first out. For a country in free fall, the anchors of the European Union and NATO are not so negligible after all. Europe is not simply a story of growing nationalism and xenophobia. It’s a continent in violent flux, torn between liberal democratic and nativist currents.”
Cohen claims that Mitsotakis, who is a Harvard- and Stanford-educated former McKinsey man from one of Greece’s pre-eminent political families, had to overcome perceptions that he was too “American” and too technocratic in order to win the election.
“Through a hard-driving campaign in which he promised to cut corporate taxes, unblock privatization, deliver a digital transformation of the economy, attract investment and bring efficiency to the public sector, Mitsotakis convinced Greeks he was the man to turn glimmerings of recovery into sustainable growth. With an absolute majority in Parliament, he has the means to fast-forward his program.”