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'The parties that gained in the elections—especially the radical-left Syriza, which ended in second place—do not simply oppose austerity measures. What Syriza opposes is any kind of reform. The party has, for example, consistently opposed teachers' evaluations or other overhauls to the ailing education system. It has vehemently opposed reducing state bureaucracy or reforming the inflexible Greek labor market.

At the same time, Syriza—which began negotiations Tuesday to lead the next government—has remained silent on the need to combat the widespread graft and corruption that characterizes the Greek civil service. Its only prescription for Greece's economic problem is that the country should refuse to pay its debt while taxing the rich and staffing the bloated public sector with even more people. Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, has suggested hiring 150,000 more people in the civil service as a way of reducing Greek unemployment.

The Greek left today does not represent an industrial proletariat that wants a bigger share of the economic pie. Syriza represents all the groups that have been able to grow and flourish under Greece's political system and now feel threatened by reform. It derives its support from various professional interest groups—lawyers, teachers, journalists and civil servants—who feel that their jobs and special privileges are at risk if Greece is forced to open up its economy to competition.'

Mr. Michas is a columnist for protagon.gr.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230445110457739...
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