Greece – the EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Greece joined the EU in 1981 after a successful return to democracy in 1974, and joined the Eurozone in 2001 in controversial circumstances. Perhaps no other European country has seen the radical political changes that Greece has seen since the last European elections in 2009. Greece had been the scene of perhaps the […]

To Potami (lit. ‘The River’)

To Potami (lit. ‘The River’). To Potami is Greece’s newest major party. Founded by a TV presenter, Stavros Theodorakis, the party was announced in a press conference where Theodorakis announced its first thirty supporters – all celebrities. The party is ideologically vague, but broadly appears to be centre-left and it has predominantly taken support from […]

Independent Greeks (ANEL)

Independent Greeks (ANEL). When New Democracy was in opposition it often spent some time using a small amount of nationalistic, anti-austerity rhetoric though its official stance was always support in practice. Nonetheless, ND’s entry into government created a split from its anti-austerity right. The party’s leader and founder, Panos Kammenos, was ejected from ND after […]

Democratic Left (DIMAR)

Democratic Left (DIMAR). DIMAR was formed in 2010 from a splinter from Syriza. Formed by the party’s internal ‘renewal wing’ tendency which left Syriza due to its increasing anti-European tone. DIMAR represented a more pro-European and moderate approach to the fiscal crisis. DIMAR was originally quite popular and was bolstered by the addition of six […]

Golden Dawn (XA)

Golden Dawn (XA). Many European countries have a sizeable right-wing populist party with anti-immigration views. Perhaps none of them, however, compare in extremity to Golden Dawn, now Greece’s third or fourth party in polls. Golden Dawn is part neo-Nazi party, part criminal enterprise. The party always denies being neo-Nazi and it is often an intellectually […]

Ecologist Greens (OP)

Ecologist Greens (OP). At the time of the last European elections, the Greek greens seemed to be somewhat on the rise from their prior historic irrelevancy. 3.5% of the vote and a seat in the European Parliament marked a new record for the party. Shortly thereafter the party made unpopular liberal statements about minority groups […]

Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)

Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). Where PASOK has lost, Syriza has been the primary beneficiary. Syriza originates in a late 1980s attempt to unite the left-of-PASOK into one electoral alliance in the face of the crisis wrought by the end of the Cold War. The Left and Progress Coalition, as it was called included […]

Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS)

Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS). LAOS was formed by the ex-New Democracy MP Georgios Karatzaferis. It is a right-wing populist party with fairly typical right-wing populist views on immigration, and the EU. LAOS was also accused of antidemocratic views. When the Papademos government was formed all reasonably sized parties in parliament were offered positions in the […]

Communist Party of Greece (KKE)

Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Greece’s oldest party parliamentary party, the KKE, was founded in 1918. Prior to WWII the party twice won seats in parliament, in 1926 and 1932 and won between 3% and 11% of the vote in Greek elections. During WWII the party became the predominant component of the Greek resistance movement, […]

New Democracy (ND)

New Democracy (ND). Now the lead party in the government with its former nemesis PASOK, ND remains Greece’s predominant centre-right party. ND was launched by transition PM Konstantine Karamanlis. Karamanlis had been a former PM for the National Radical Union, Greece’s pre-1967 conservative party. Karamanlis had gone into self-imposed exile in the mid-60s and was […]