June 17th, 2012
02:32 PM GMT
Athens (CNN) - Whichever way the Greek people vote in these elections, there are no easy options for the country. It is almost certain no one party will get a majority – even with the top-up seats given to the front runner.
We are facing days of horse-trading.
The best that can be hoped for is that the leaders of New Democracy and PASOK follow through on the noises they are making. That it is time for unity.
They know what that means. That they are going to have to get into coalition with each other. If they do that, Greece carries on.
However, even if these so-called “sensible parties” get into bed with each other, they will still want to renegotiate the deal with Europe.
Europe will not budge on issues such social security, pensions or privatizations. But they might be willing to talk on deficit targets and taxation levels, for example, given the difficulties created by the recession.
There are 1,001 ways that Greece can stay in the euro. But even if the austerity deal is renegotiated, the Greek people face another three to five years of pain.