Greek elections – Democracy and austerity measures

The main message of the elections of May 6 is the denouncement of the austerity measures and their main supporters.


The parties of the previous governmental coalition PASOK (socialists) and Nea Dimokratia (conservatives) that support the memoranda and the harsh austerity policies suffered huge losses. In particular, they lost about 3.000.000 votes and received together 32% of the total votes. This is a dramatic drop as their usual percentages range between 75-85%. The denouncement was also expressed via the low turnout for Greek standards. This time the turnout was 75%, the lowest ever in the last 40 years.

The main winner of the elections is the left wing coalition SYRIZA. For the first time since 1958 a left wing coalition wins the second place with 16.78% (52 seats).  SYRIZA is opposed to the austerity policies and the memorandum (memorandum = the austerity policies and reforms that the previous Greek governments agreed with the EU and the IMF in return for the loans). With respect to the sovereign debt, SYRIZA believes that Greece should stop serving it at least partially. SYRIZA stands for the participation of Greece in the EU and the Eurozone but struggles for reforming their structures in favour of the people. In these elections, the main political proposal of SYRIZA was the formation of a left-wing coalition government of left parties.

At the fourth place ended the Independent Greeks (right wing anti-memoranum party) with 10.6% (33 seats). The Greek Communist Party came fifth with 8.28% (26 seats). A dark moment in the Greek political history is the entrance of the neo-nazi party Xrysi Avgi in the parliament with 6.97% (21 seats). This party is partly supported by the Greek political and economic elite, as it functions as a counterbalance to the left, and as they provide paramilitary support to the riot police during demonstrations and launch murderous attacks against immigrants. Unfortunately, the fake use of an anti-memorandum and anti-systemic discourse deceived a large number of people.

Last party with parliamentary representation is the DIMAR (Democratic Left), with 6.11% (19 seats). This party is in favour of EU and Eurozone. Although it wants Greece to disengage gradually from the memorandum, it has declared that it will respect the agreements that are already made with the EU and the IMF. The party stated that they will not be in a government coalition with Nea Dimokratia and PASOK.

For the first time in the Greek political scene, anticapitalist left (ANTARSYA) gets a non-marginal election result. ANTARSYA over-triplicated its support and received 1.2%. ANTARSYA demands the unilateral write-off of the sovereign debt, the immediate exit of Greece from the Eurozone and the EU, the nationalization of banks and privatized companies and the stop of austerity policies.

If one looks at the results of the elections, it is clear that the majority of people voted against the austerity policies and the memoranda. However, Troika, the EU and the Greek elite are trying to overrun the majority vote of the Greek people against the austerity policies and the memoranda. The vice president of the European Commission Olli Rehn stated on 8 May, “We respect the electoral result, we expect democracy, and now, we expect the Greek political forces to form a coalition government supporting reforms and recovery of Greece”. This statement was followed by repeated interventions from Merkel and Barozo who stated that the agreed austerity policies cannot be altered. Although suffering severe losses, Nea Dimokratia and PASOK want to form again a government. Due to a completely undemocratic reinforce proportional electoral system Nea Dimokratia received 108 seats with just 19.8% of the votes, while PASOK has 41 seats. DIMAR agreed to form a government of national unity with the aim of preserving the participation of Greece to the euro At the same time, all three parties and the media try to push the actual winner of the elections, SYRIZA, to abolish its standpoint for a partial stop in serving the debt and against the memorandum by joining the government of national unity.

It is time to act. It is clear that only the struggle of the people can give the ultimate solution. The people toppled the Papandreou government that introduced the memorandums. The people pushed the puppet government of the banker Papademos to disintegration. The people can prevent them from grabbing the power again and impose new harsh austerity measures. The people can also enforce to a possible left government to keep its promises and reverse the austerity policies. Finally, if this first struggle is successful, then the movement in Greece and Europe will need to give a difficult fight against the forces that will try to push Greece into isolation and push forward a reactionary reform in the whole Europe. It is time to act.