Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

 15 May 2012

Ζήτω η Ελλάδα                                                               Ζήτω η Ελληνική Δημοκρατία


Greece is to hold new parliamentary elections next month, probably on 10 or 17 June 2012, the exact date to be announced tomorrow.

This follows the failure of last-ditch talks held today under the aegis of the Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

The political parties that emerged from the recent parliamentary elections on 6 May 2012 failed to agree on the composition of a new government.

The collapse of the talks did not reflect the usual split between left and right.

The disagreement was, on the one hand, between two traditional establishment parties – nominally socialist Pasok and rightwing New Democracy – which both favoured pushing ahead with the savage austerity programme imposed on debt-hit Greece by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and, on the other hand, parties of both left and right which rejected the externally imposed austerity measures.

International media and financial market speculation has centred on the growing belief that, if the austerity programme is rejected, Greece will be forced out of the eurozone, the 17-state European common currency area, and compelled to revert to the drachma.

However, according to Antigone1984, this is not the main  reason for the panic now seizing the European political establishment.

The latest opinion polls in Greece predict that Syriza, a coalition of radical leftwing groups, will come out top in the June ballot. Buoyed high on a wave of popular revulsion to the austerity package, the party came a close second to New Democracy in the elections on 6 May.

If Syriza does emerge as the leading party in June, it will benefit from the extraordinary Greek election rules that give the party winning the largest percentage of the vote a free bonus of an extra 50 seats – over-and-above the number of seats it has won straightforwardly on the basis of the country’s proportional voting regulations.

Accordingly, the stakes could not be higher.

If Syriza does become the largest party in the June election, it will be in pole position to take the lead in forming a government.

For the first time since the French Revolution, then, there the chance that a radical leftwing party will come to power in a western European country.

If this happens, the reverberations will be felt throughout the continent as well as globally. The seemingly immutable duopolistic two-party stranglehold on western democracy will have been prised unprecedentedly apart.

Who knows where this could lead?

No wonder the political elite is quaking in its boots.

Democracy, freed from the suffocating straitjacket of the partitocracy, will be returning in pristine condition to the land of the Hellenes, where it all began 2 500 years ago.

Ζήτω η Ελλάδα                                                                    Ζήτω η Ελληνική Δημοκρατία


 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

 1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.


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