There seems to be little chance of Greece's political parties being able to form a viable coalition government after voters punished the two main parties in Sunday's election. It's a worst case scenario for the country's European partners, whose whole approach to fighting the Greek debt crisis is now in question.
Now the worst case scenario has arrived: Greece threatens to become ungovernable. The situation after Sunday's election in Greece looks hopeless. No matter which coalition of parties one calculates, whether big or small, left or right wing, it is impossible to come up with a viable majority government.
They are supposedly responsible for the steadily shrinking economy and the ever-increasing unemployment. They are blamed for declining salaries, pension cuts and the rapidly deteriorating standard of living. They are to blame for the fact that proud Greece is no longer viewed as an enviably beautiful island nation, but as a symbol of the European debt crisis. But it is highly debatable whether the ragethat has now been vented will have a liberating effect in the long term.
The first lesson that Greek voters wanted to teach the political establishment was that pride comes before a fall. For the two major traditional parties, the conservative New Democracy (ND) and the socialist PASOK, that fall has been very steep. The Socialists saw their vote collapse by about 30 percentage points compared to the last elections in 2009. Rarely has a European party seen such a drop in support.
But there was plenty of hubris on the European level too. Athens received warnings and threats from all sides. But nobody really expected voters to deliver a result that is so devastating for the EU's approach to fighting the Greek crisis.