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Published on 08 May, 2012

Greek election results could complicate bailout plans

Greece (MNN) — It turns out, "austerity" is the kind of word that
gets you fired if you're a politician in Greece.

Although lawmakers were trying to keep bailout funds flowing to
keep the country from going belly up, voters didn't like it. They said so on Sunday when parliamentary
election results cut the majority from two of the most established parties.

Worse
yet, the results leave no party in charge, and the volatile nation is even
more in flux. The
two parties that spearhead the current coalition government earned far short of
150
parliamentary seats.  Simeon Ioannidis with AMG
International
explains, "It is unsure now if a government
will be able to form. Everything is uncertain. We will wait for a few days to
see how they will agree between them or if we are going for new
elections."

Politicians have until May 17 to come up with a new working
alliance or–if they cannot–set a date for another round of elections.

The
impasse has set markets roiling. There
are questions of whether or not Greece will stay in the European Union. Although the elections will eventually change
the response to the crisis, for now, the austerity measures remain in
place. 

That
brings us to what's happening to those dependent on government payments, like
the hospitals.  Ioannidis says, "The public hospitals are suffering. Almost
20% of them will be closed, and other private hospitals are suffering
also."  

AMG
International's facility is in Thessaloniki, St. Luke's Hospital. Ioannidis explains, "The problem with
St. Luke's is not that they don't have any patients, it's always full. The problem
is that the insurance companies don't have the money to pay their part." Due to the continued decline of government
facilities, the number of people who come to St. Luke's for help has risen to about 2,000
inpatients and 1,800 outpatients each month.

At
the same time, the financial crisis has resulted in more openness on the part
of the people to hear the Gospel message. "Pray that God will open more
doors and pray that God would give us more means to bring the Gospel to the
people. One of the best ways to spread the Gospel is through our hospital there."

These
patients come looking for physical healing and find spiritual healing as well. Other AMG teams on the island are finding
other means of helping. "We organize food distribution, and the evangelical
churches participate in this effort, and we have more opportunities now to bring
the Gospel to the people."

Please
continue to pray for St. Luke's and the entire ministry in Greece. This is
a very difficult time, and many people are hurting. Please pray that God
will continue to provide for the financial needs and that many more will come
to know Jesus as Lord and Savior in the middle of this crisis.

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  • Primary Language: Greek
  • Primary Religion: Christianity
  • Evangelical: 0.4%
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