by Stathis Gourgouris, for Greek Left Review
The majority of Greeks voted for governmentability this time, as opposed to registering a mere protest vote as in the May 6 elections. This manifestation was motivated by two contrary sentiments, fear of change and desire for change, which correspond to votes going to New Democracy and SYRIZA respectively.
The new government to be formed will involve collaboration between two nominally vicious opponents of the past, who have been, however, complicit in the degradation of the Greek political system in the last 30 years. Their current collaboration confirms their long term mutual complicity and renders their previous opposition a mere brawl over spoils. In this respect, there has never been greater political clarity as to the primary self-interest of the Greek political elite.
But this new government will represent an electorate that has registered its trust motivated by fear. Such politics can never sustain itself in the long run, especially as the new ND-PASOK government is bound to distinguish itself by even greater capitulation to the interests of financial capital and European bureaucratic elites. The very same people who voted for this sort of political formation (a minority position overall) will quickly turn against their rulers in various manifestations of social unrest. How this social unrest will translate into a different political order is one of the key wagers of Greece’s future.
On the other hand, SYRIZA collected unprecedented popular support. It is evident that voters who supported SYRIZA are no longer motivated by mere opposition to the old political order. Rather, they registered their conviction that SYRIZA is a probable (and indeed desirable) governing force. There is a stunning statistic that shows SYRIZA an overwhelming victor among the ages of 55 years and below, while the population of over 55 years old went to ND. The desire for change and the commitment to change belongs to Greece’s future, while the fear-driven, literally conservative, sentiment that brought ND to power is a force of years past. While not knowing exactly how this will play out, this generational discrepancy must not be underestimated.
By Yanis Varoufakis, originally posted at YanisVaroufakis.eu 18 Jun
Greek voters gave their contradictory verdict: While 55% voted for parties that stood explicitly against the ‘bailout’ terms and conditions, a pro-’bailout’ government is about to be formed – such is the nature of Greece’s electoral system (which rewards the largest party with a bonus of 50 additional MPs in the 300 seat chamber). The New Democracy party will lead the government even though it is utterly clear that at least one in three of the voters who backed it think very little of the party and its leader but felt they had no option but to vote for them simple because the alternative, a Syriza government, might bring upon the nation the combined wrath of Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels. This is as inauspicious a beginning for a new government with a mountain range of challenges as one could have imagined. Read the rest of this entry »
We lost, a crucial opportunity has been lost.
there is no guarrantee that there will be another one, but the opposite is also true. In a few weeks/months Syriza rose from 5 to 27%. It is now by far the biggest party of the radical left in Europe. The political landscape has been of the country has been dramatically transformed.
However, I have the feeling that the history of the Left and of the workers’ movement is full of these missed opportunities, these seemingly “small differences” which turned out being the decisive factor in a given situation.
As always, the battles are still ahead!
Comment by Athena Skoulariki on fb
‘Those who commented as unconceivable that Tsipras could become Prime Minister with “only 30%”, claim that it’s the unquestionable right of Samaras (with the same percentage) to do so’
Samaras: ‘The Greek people voted for euro and for policies that will bring jobs and security’
‘We need a government of wider national majority’ [εθνική σωτηρία]
‘We will honour our commitments’
By Ryan Vlastelica Source: Reuters
NEW YORK | Sun Jun 17
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Sunday with Greek parties that support a bailout for the country set to win a slim parliamentary majority, bringing some relief to a world braced for fresh financial turmoil.
Investors have feared that if the winner had been the radical left SYRIZA party, which rejects the terms of the bailout, it could result in Greece leaving the euro zone, the result of which was uncertain. With 80 percent of the votes counted, the pro-bailout New Democracy Party led with 30.1 percent while SYRIZA had 26.6 percent.
“The gain is understandable given the massive fallout that could have happened had the New Democracy Party lost,” said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive officer at Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California. “If they’re able to construct a majority, as it appears, that will be a huge relief for the market.” Read the rest of this entry »
There are still more than two weeks left before the June 17 Greek vote but public opinion is trending back in favor of Syriza the largest anti-austerity party that came in second during the last elections.
The poll published by Kathimerini shows that Syriza has 31.5 per cent of the vote a gain of 1.5 per cent over a week. Support for the first place finisher last time New Democracy is at 25.5 per cent, little changed over the week. The Socialist Party PASOK that together with New Democracy support the austerity package has decline 2 per cent to 13.5.
The Democratic Left had 7.5 per cent and Independent Greeks 5.5. The Communist Party (KKE) also had 5.5 per cent The right wing Golden Dawn had 4.5 per cent.
Seat projection on the basis of the percentages would give Syriza 134 seats. Presumably this includes the 50 seats for coming first. New Democracy would obtain 68 seats. PASOK 36. The Democracit Left would obtain 20 and the Communist 15.
The same poll surprisingly shows that 58 per cent of Greeks think that New Democracy will win and only 34 per cent see the left as winning. The leader of the Democratic Left is far more popular than the leader of Styriza Alexis Tsipras.
If the seat projections are correct then Syriza could gain a majority in coalition with the Democratic Left. The Communist Party so far has ruled out joining a coalition.
Earlier polls indicated that New Democracy could win. If Syriza wins the austerity deal will be repudiated and Syriza demands renegotiation. Until the actual election happens markets will no doubt remain volatile. Many analysts think that Greece dropping the Euro is most likely. For more see this article.